Good morning everyone, and welcome to my last Saturday picks of the 2021-22 NHL season. Indeed, even if this series were to reach Game 7, there's no game scheduled for next Saturday. If it does reach either Game 6 and/or 7, you'll probably hear of me again for that, but in case this is it for this season, I definitely want to express a massive amount of gratitude to my readers. I enjoyed writing these thoroughly on a weekly basis, and I look forward to getting a better record next year. On that note, I won't waste your time anymore and will jump right into it.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Colorado Avalanche – Pick: Lightning
Following a thrilling faceoff two days ago in which the Lightning had to play from behind for half the game, you can expect Jon Cooper to make it very clear to his players that he doesn't want to be in that position again tonight. From the first second the puck touches the ice, expect them to apply smothering pressure and keep the Avalanche on their toes, making sure they're never comfortable on the puck for more than a split second, until they manage to get ahead in the game. Indeed, Tampa has already had to come back from a 2-0 deficit in a series not too long ago and I can guarantee they wouldn't be thrilled about being in that situation again. Despite an almost flawless display at home so far this postseason, having to come back from two against one of the best lineups I've ever seen would simply be suicide.
Brayden Point Anytime Goalscorer @ 2.75
If there's one man with a huge chip on his shoulder coming into this game it's Brayden Point. The former 40-goal scorer has only found the back of the net twice in eight games so far this offseason. Considering that during the last two playoffs he's had 33 and 23 points respectively, both in 23 games, it's safe to say that Tampa needs him to be performing in order to succeed, especially against the juggernaut that is Colorado. You can't have your third best forward underperforming like that, not while the Avs' big three all have 19 points in 14 games. The production needs to be there, and Point is a big enough competitor that he'll want to be the primary factor in having the series balanced out.