Wednesday’s NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning is a matchup of what is and what could be. Tampa is the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions and they are in position for another long playoff run. The Oilers have two of the most dynamic players in the league but have struggled to make the postseason with just three appearances in the previous 15 seasons. And when they did reach the playoffs things didn’t go well for the Oilers. In an effort to change things up the Oilers recently made a coaching change with the club going 5-1 in the first six games under Jay Woodcroft.
The matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL and will air live on TNT. BookMaker.eu will have odds for every game on the Wednesday NHL schedule.
NHL Betting at BookMaker.eu
The Oilers have a chance to regroup and recover after playing five games in seven days. The first four went well with victories by outscoring opponents 19-7, however, the run ended on Sunday with a 7-3 loss to Minnesota. Some of the same issues that have plagued the club all season were present again against the Wild. The Oilers allowed the first goal less than three minutes into the game, the goaltending was shaky and the offense struggles when Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are held in check. Those issues led to the firing of Dave Tippett a few weeks ago following consecutive losses to Vegas and Chicago when the Oilers were outscored 8-1. Their recent surge moved them back into third place in the Pacific Division with a record of 28-19-3.
Until someone knocks them off the Lightning are Stanley Cup champions. And it’s not by chance. They had the third-most points in the NHL two years ago and won the Cup in the bubble. They finished third in the shortened last season and ran through the playoffs for the third title in franchise history. And they are battling for the top spot in their division this season. That all came after they posted the best regular season record during the 2018-19 season only to get swept in the first round. I guess you could say Tampa learned from its failure and became a better team. They’ve been consistently good winning their last two games while going 9-2-1 over their last 12 and cashing the OVER in their last two.
It’s easy to be a fan of the Oilers with guys like McDavid and Draisaitl on their side. The two are once again at the top of the league scoring chart with McDavid at 71 points and Draisaitl with 70. Teams know stopping those two increase their chances of beating Edmonton yet it’s still tough to accomplish. In an effort to bolster their secondary scoring they signed Evander Kane a few weeks ago. The move has kinda worked with Kane scoring five goals and nine points in 11 games.
It’s hard to play from behind all the time and that game plan will eventually backfire despite the offensive upside. The Oilers have allowed the first goal in 33 of their last 41 games and they found themselves behind 3-0 to Minnesota on Sunday just over six minutes into the contest.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning have more depth scoring and better goaltending with Vezina candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes. And the NHL co-leader in goalie wins will definitely be in net on Wednesday since Tampa’s last game was a week ago. And they showed how dangerous they are by coming back from a 3-1 second period deficit to score five unanswered goals in a 6-3 decision over New Jersey. Their balance was on display with six different goal scorers and none of them were Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.
Not only does Tampa have an edge in net they also have a Norris Trophy candidate on the back end. Victor Hedman averages 25 ½ minutes of ice time, leads the team in plus-minus at +19 and has 11 goals and 39 assists to place second on the club with 50 points.
NHL Odds Pick
Though Edmonton has a nice record the Lightning will be laying a high price in this matchup. My only concern is the week off between games that often times affects teams. Both teams can score giving value to the OVER and the Oilers need to find consistency in their game. They’ve looked better since the coaching change, but they weren’t all that bad before it. They just aren’t deep enough to beat Tampa on the road.
NHL Odds Prediction: Tampa Bay 6, Edmonton 4
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