The New York Islanders lost the opening game of the Eastern Conference final 8-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Photo from @islanders_fanly (Twitter).
- The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the New York Islanders 1-0 in the Eastern Conference final
- Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point combined for 3 goals and 7 assists in Game 1
- The odds shifted dramatically which could result in the best value play being the Over/Under
The Tampa Bay Lightning put up a touchdown on the New York Islanders. Then they scored one more.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final was about as one-sided a hockey game as you’ll see. What does it mean going forward? Well, for starters, a drastic change in the odds when compared with the odds in the opener.
Islanders vs Lightning Game 2 Odds
|Team||Puck Line||Over/Under||Moneyline at DraftKings|
|New York Islanders||+1.5 (-182)||O 5.5 (+110)||+151|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-1.5 (+150)||U 5.5 (-134)||-177|
Odds as of Sep. 8th.
Tampa Bay has moved from -148 to -177 and that makes picking them straight up a low-value proposition. I’m going to trust their offense to keep clicking, so my pick is the over. Ironically, the reason I expect the offense to keep producing is because of two defensive notes.
Who Can Stop Kucherov & Point?
Before the first game in the series I wrote that the Islanders have a major flaw on their back end. While none of their defenseman are bad, none of them are talented enough to hang with Nikita Kucherov. That proved to be the case in game one with Kucherov and line mate Brayden Point tallying a combined 3 goals and 7 assists. That’s not a typo, they really did combine for 10 points.
This goal is Brayden Point’s 14th point in his last seven games.
In case you were wondering. 💰 pic.twitter.com/0BRqKJe5mk
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) September 8, 2020
The two defenseman to log the most ice-time for the Islanders were Scott Mayfield and Ryan Pulock. If this is the first time you’ve heard of either of those players, you likely aren’t alone. They are solid but I can’t state this emphatically enough: solid won’t stop the Lightning’s top offensive players.
Hedman Continues to Impress for Tampa Bay
Victor Hedman is the type of defenseman the Islanders could use. A big body capable of shutting things down in his own end while contributing on the offense as well. In game one he played a team-high 20:42 while racking up a goal, two assists and a +3 rating. It was as complete a performance as you’ll see from the back end.
A Hedman MISSILE! 🚀#GoBolts BACK on top.
— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) September 8, 2020
Hedman may put up nice offensive numbers but the reality is, the opponents stars are almost always a complete nothing when he’s on the ice. This is magnified when playing a team like New York that is built with depth as opposed to star power. He is simply too good of a player to not win that battle shift after shift.
Bet the Over in Game 2
The Lightning have the best offensive players who are putting up historic numbers right now. They have the best defensive player not only in the series but quite possibly in the sport. They also have arguably the best goalie on the planet while the opponent is mired in a controversy deciding between Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss. All signs point to Tampa Bay winning the next game as well, but I’m still taking the over.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 8, 2020
The value in a moneyline bet at -177 just isn’t there and quite frankly +150 on the puck line isn’t great either. With the total shifting up half a goal it provided some value which I’m happy to take advantage of. Trust the Lightning offense to help the over hit for a second straight game in the series.
The Pick: Over 5.5 Goals (+110)
Ryan has been working at TSN for over eleven years, and is now a lead writer and content producer at That’s Hockey. Over the years, he’s launched and hosted TSN’s first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show, and been featured on the likes of TSN 1050, Sportscentre, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.