NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames

NHL Hockey Betting:  San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The San Jose Sharks are coming off their best all around performance of the season and now head to Calgary to take on the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Sharks have had their ups and downs this season and in particular have had difficulty scoring goals of late. They didn’t have difficulty doing anything on Saturday night as they throttled the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 7-0. They now face a tougher challenge facing the enigmatic Flames on the road. Calgary is coming off a 2-1 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes–arguably the most underrated team in the league at the moment. The Flames defense and goaltending has been the primary problem all season and while it’s showing improvement they’re still the #29 scoring defense in the league.

The fact that Calgary’s shots against per game isn’t especially bad (they’re #14 in the league allowing 29.2 per game) is a big indictment of their goaltending which has been a mess all season long. Kari Ramo will get the start tonight and has been getting most of the work lately but that’s due to necessity more than anything else. Jonas Hiller has been injured for much of the season and has been relegated to backup status. Ramo has shown some marked improvement over the past couple of months–to the point that Hiller’s name has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate. Ramo did take a puck to the throat yesterday in practice but he’s expected to play here.

San Jose’s goaltending is also below where they’re usually expected to be–they’re #23 in the league scoring defense rankings allowing 2.77 goals per game. Martin Jones–formerly Jonathan Quick’s backup in Los Angeles–has shown excellent form at times but has been inconsistent. San Jose is a top ten scoring offense team despite their recent struggles averaging 2.77 goals per game.

The big question in this game–we’ve got two teams with an almost identical record in similar form. Calgary holds a lead in the head to head series (7-5 overall, 4-2 in Calgary). They’ve split the two games played this year. So why are the Sharks favored? San Jose has played much better on the road than at home this season–they’re 13-6-2 away and 6-12-0 at home–but that’s not much of a justification. We’ll take the Flames.


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