NHL Hockey Betting: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames

NHL Hockey Betting:  Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Calgary Flames have shaken off a slow start to the 2016-2017 NHL season and are back in contention in the Pacific Division race. They’re currently tied for fourth place with Los Angeles and the teams are 3 back of third place Edmonton, 4 back of second place Anaheim and six back of division leading San Jose. They’ve won 6 of 10 (6-4-0) and have a great chance to add to their point total tonight as they welcome hapless Colorado to the Scotiabank Saddledome.

No one expected much out of Colorado this season but the wheels have really come off with Avs’ goaltender Semyon Varlamov injured and little depth in net behind backup Calvin Pickard. Colorado is in the Central Division basement and for now has the worst record in the National Hockey League though they’re in a neck and neck battle with Arizona for that dubious distinction. The Avs are 12-24-1 for 25 points while Arizona is 11-21-5 with 27 points. No other NHL team has fewer than 36 points which underscores just how far off the pace these two teams really are. Colorado has actually played better on the road (8-11-0) than at home (4-13-1) but they enter this game on a 1-9-0 run in their last ten games. Even that doesn’t convey how bad things are in Denver–since November 21 the Avalanche have a pitiful record of 3-15-1.

Not only is Colorado a losing team they’re just as bad statistically. The Avalanche are dead last in both scoring offense (2.1 goals per game) and scoring defense (3.4 goals per game). Special teams play is marginally better but *just* marginally–Colorado has the #28 power play in the league (13.6%) with the #25 penalty kill (78.9%). To their credit, they don’t completely roll over when stepping up in class and have actually turned a profit against teams with winning records this season (7-8 +3.1 units). They enter this game on a four game losing streak and they’re 2-6 on the year after three or more losses.

This isn’t a horrible matchup for Colorado. They won the only previous meeting of the season taking a 6-3 win here on 12/27/16. They also catch the Flames in a serious ‘lookahead spot’ with a home and home series against the hated Vancouver Canucks on deck for Friday and Saturday night. Colorado wasn’t much last year and won two of the three meetings with Calgary giving them victories in 3 of the last 4 head to head. We’ll hold our nose and take a shot on the Avalanche.


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