Winnipeg Jets (13-13-4) at Tampa Bay Lightning (17-10-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 7, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -152 / Winnipeg Jets +138 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Jets look to rebound after a tough loss to the Panthers as they continue their road swing of Florida in Tampa Bay.
The Jets continue to be one of the most frustrating and difficult teams to handicap and watch as a hockey fan as they have a ton of talent but never show up with the same level of intensity on any two game stretch and as such they sit in 6th place in their division and are 15 points back of the Blackhawks. Winnipeg has some very solid players up front, a blue line that chips in with the best of them and a tandem of goalies that are respectable yet they don’t seem to be able to rally around their game plan and head coach Claude Noel continues to grow frustrated with his team’s play. They seem to drop the winnable games and come away victorious against some of the game’s best which is keeping them in the hunt but they need to right the ship and make up some ground if they’re going to make the playoffs.
The Lightning continue to be one of the game’s biggest surprises as even with Steven Stamkos in the lineup not many had them pegged as a playoff team and surely when he went down with a broken tibia many had them written off entirely. While the Bolts have slipped up a bit as they have lost 6 of their last 10 games they sit just four points back of the Canadiens for top spot in the Atlantic division. Tampa is coming off a nice win against the Senators earlier this week and they’ll look to use that as motivation against an underachieving Jets team but the value they’re getting here is a little too rich for my blood as I think the teams are closer than the line indicates. Instead I am going to attack the total and I see this being a bounce back effort from Winnipeg and if they’re going to win they’ll have to keep the Tampa offense off the board. Take the under.