Stanley Cup picks: 4 bets for Lightning vs Avalanche Game 6
Andrew Berkshire provides his best NHL picks and predictions for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche.
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With the Stanley Cup in the house and the Colorado Avalanche on the verge of winning it all, the Tampa Bay Lightning proved yet again that they do not lay down, and they will not be beaten easily. They didn’t allow the Avalanche to take the lead at any point in a very tight game five, and Ondrej Palat scored the go-ahead goal with just over four minutes remaining. Can the Lightning manage another gutsy effort like that on home ice and tie the series up for an all-or-nothing game seven?
The Lightning refuse to die and they played a great game in Colorado, handing the Avalanche their second loss of the series and fourth of the playoffs. However, there are too many things pointing towards the Avalanche for me to fully believe the back-to-back champions will force a game seven.
For starters, the Lightning players spent lots of time in game four lobbying the officials after whistles, and Lightning head coach Jon Cooper did the same after the game ended in his postgame press conference. The result was the Lightning getting twice the powerplays Colorado did in game five, and some egregious missed calls favouring Tampa.
Can they count on that happening again? Probably not.
This one is just a great bet every time. MacKinnon is still searching for his first goal of the series off his own stick, with his lone goal coming off of a bounce off his skate in game four.
MacKinnon has rattled off 20 shots on goal in the last three games, he’s desperate to lead his team on the scoresheet like he usually does, and I have a feeling he’s going to be the difference in this game as the Avalanche find a way to win it all.
With MacKinnon averaging almost seven shots per game in the last three, and the stakes continuing to rise, one of the best playoff players of his generation has to strike soon.
Even while MacKinnon hasn’t been scoring, he’s creating chances and space that allow his linemates to get on the board. Just look at the success Valeri Nichushkin is having, for example. MacKinnon, however, is a legitimate superstar. He’s going to have a game where he’s the difference in this series, and I think this will be the one.
I think the Avalanche are winning this game, but there’s no way that the Lightning go out without a fight, and if anyone is going to keep them in the game, it’s going to be their most clutch player in this postseason.
Palat is not only the Lightning’s top goal scorer in the playoffs, and this series, but he’s also scored almost all of the most important goals for the team in these playoffs. He’s been ever present at the important moments in this cup run.