Dog of the Day: After an 8-0 debacle, let's try the Islanders again

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It's a good thing goal differential doesn't matter in the NHL playoffs. 

The New York Islanders were embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5. They lost 8-0. It was the first 8-0 loss in the NHL playoffs since 2001. It was awful, but it only counted as one loss. 

It's not easy to do after picking the Islanders in this spot on Monday and losing by eight goals, but let's try again with the Islanders in Game 6. They're a +125 underdog at BetMGM, and that's normal for the Islanders this postseason. 

My colleague Scott Pianowski likes to back hockey teams right after they've been embarrassed, and that angle often works out. You'll get that team's best effort and maybe a little extra value on the betting line too. No team was embarrassed more thoroughly in a game this postseason, or the last 20 postseasons, than the Islanders in Game 5. 

The same reasons for liking the Islanders in Game 5 apply to Wednesday night's game, if we can shut out some recency bias. The Islanders have been in most games this postseason despite being favored just once. They have won nine times as underdogs during the playoffs. They are a very good defensive team that (usually) keeps games close even when they're outplayed. The home-ice advantage has been impressive as well, and the series shifts back to New York for Game 6. 

Also, as pointed out by Collin Sherwin over at DraftKings, the Lightning might be one of those teams that needs to be put in an urgent spot to play its best. There's no questioning Tampa Bay's talent. They are the better team in this series, and with the Vegas Golden Knights on the verge of extinction, a worthy Stanley Cup favorite. But the defending champs had a bit of a disappointing regular season and have had lapses. in the playoffs. Maybe it will be a letdown spot for them on Wednesday, and then we'll see the Lightning's "A" game for Game 7. 

The Islanders have been very good to bettors in the playoffs. They were blown out in Game 5, but they've still been quite profitable in the postseason. It's a little scary to bet a team that just gave up a snowman two days ago, but that's the play for today. Hopefully the most recent history won't repeat itself. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate the win against Noah Dobson (8) and the New York Islanders in Game 5. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate the win against Noah Dobson (8) and the New York Islanders in Game 5. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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