NHL Hockey Betting: Arizona Coyotes at Calgary Flames

NHL Hockey Betting:  Arizona Coyotes at Calgary Flames&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The long, miserable season of the Calgary Flames winds down with another home game against the Arizona Coyotes. The Flames and their supporters had big hopes heading into the 2015-16 NHL season. They were off a playoff appearance and expectations were high to improve on that performance this year. Instead, they’ve been a huge disappointment. Their goaltending has been a ‘dumpster fire’ due to injuries and poor play. Now the best that they can hope for is to avoid finishing last in the Western Conference. They’ve got plenty of competition–the Winnipeg Jets are currently in the West cellar but Calgary and Edmonton are just two points ahead. Arizona–tonight’s opponent–is two points up on Calgary and Edmonton with Vancouver three points up. Given the negligible ‘form’ of these teams (with the exception by Edmonton who are still playing hard and 5-4-1 in their last 10) any of these teams could finish in last place.

Arizona should be an easy opponent–the operative word in that assessment is ‘should’. The Coyotes look to have quit on the season and are just 1-8-1 in their last ten games. Louis Domingue has emerged as the Coyotes’ top goaltender though the way things are in Arizona right now that only necessitates the ability to remain upright and healthy. In all fairness, Domingue hasn’t been bad–he’s got a goals against average of 2.77, a 0.911 save percentage and two shutouts playing behind a porous defense and a questionably motivated team. He’s not the problem. The defense that gives up nearly 31 shots per game is and is largely responsible for Arizona being dead last in scoring defense (3.12).

But Calgary is no treasure either and they’re right behind..er…ahead of the Coyotes allowing 3.09 goals per game. And now the Flames are banged up with Sam Bennett, Deryk Engelland and T.J. Brodie all listed as ‘questionable’ for this game with various ailments. The Flames have already lost #1 (?) goaltender Karri Ramo for the season and will start 24 year old Joni Ortio who is the best of a lot of bad options at this point. The Flames have been competitive at home (18-14-2) and have won 5 of the last 6 meetings against Arizona at the Saddledome.


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