It usually takes a month or two before we start to get a real idea of which teams are going to be contenders, and which will be among the worst in the league. Slow starts by bad teams happen, as do surprise starts by teams destined to miss the playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche are still trying to find their way, but are increasingly looking like a pretty poor team. They will head into Tampa Bay to face the Lightning on Thursday night.
Avalanche @ Lightning: NHL Betting PreviewDate: Thursday, October 29th, 2015Time: 7:30PMVenue: Amalie ArenaOpening Line: Tampa Bay -190
The Avalanche (2-5-1) started out looking like they were going to be a team that could score goals without much trouble, but they have since proven that initial looks can be deceiving. The Avs are coming into this one on a 4-game losing streak, during which time they have only managed to score a meagre 5 goals. They also had the distinction of being the first team to lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets this year, despite the best efforts of Jarome Iginla, who has been leading the way on offense for the Avs. Ironically enough, this is a team that plays pretty good hockey when they are not playing 5 on 5. Their power play and penalty kill units are both in the top 5 in the league, but it is their even strength play that is proving to be their downfall right now. They are already losing ground in the Central Division, and the possibility of a playoff spot looks pretty slim.Few teams came into the season with loftier expectations placed upon them than the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3-2). They made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season, and were instantly considered one of the favorites to represent the Eastern Conference again this year. Some may look at their record to this point in the season as being something of a disappointment, but you have to remember that the Lightning have had to play 7 of their first 10 games on the road. Things don’t get much easier, as they have 4 more on the road after a 2-game home stand though the remainder of this week. Tampa Bay will hope that they can rediscover their scoring touch on home ice, as they have been shut out in their previous 2 outings. Despite the blanks being shot in those last two games, the Lightning are still top 10 in goals per game average, which means they have the ability to start hitting the net again.
#TBLightning fall 2-0 to #STLBlues in final game of road trip. #TBLvsSTL RECAP: https://t.co/FEpZDifMZs pic.twitter.com/PTnNjg5KD2— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 28, 2015