NHL Hockey Betting: Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Well, it’s now official. With the elimination of the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night all seven Canadian NHL teams are no longer in contention for the playoffs. This is only the second time in history that the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will be 100% American and the first time in over 40 years (1970). There’s definitely hope for the future–Calgary and Winnipeg are decent teams that underachieved this year, Toronto is likely a year or two away but look to be heading in the right direction under Mike Babcock and the Montreal Canadiens are a different team with Cary Price between the pipes. And then there’s Connor McDavid in Edmonton–the Oilers need defense and goaltending but McDavid is without a doubt the most talented rookie I’ve seen in a lifetime of watching professional hockey. So the future is bright for hockey North of the Border but that doesn’t take the sting out of this NHL season.

It’s doubtful that the Calgary Flames will make Canadian fans forget their problems, even for just one night. The Flames did pick up a nice win at Arizona earlier this week but got a brutal dose of reality last night as they lost 8-3 to the Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim. This game could be just as ugly. The Kings haven’t been in stellar form of late (5-4-1 in their last 10) and are coming off an ugly loss at San Jose on Monday night. The Kings played the Sharks even for two periods before falling apart in the third en route to a 5-2 loss. There a few things more dangerous than good teams that have had time to stew about an embarrassing loss and especially in Calgary’s situation when they’ve just been routed by the Kings’ crosstown rivals. Throw in Calgary’s 8-17 record against Pacific Division foes and their 3-8 record in the second of back to back games this season and their prospects look even more dim.

The Kings have two huge games left on the regular season schedule–Saturday night at home against Dallas and Thursday at home against Anaheim. Their two remaining road games are winnable (at Calgary and at Vancouver) and they also play the disappointing Winnipeg Jets in the season finale. They’re just one point back of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division and given the dubious strength of their remaining schedule (with the exception of the Stars and Ducks) they don’t have to be at their best to give themselves a chance to win the division. Both the Kings and Ducks have six games remaining but Anaheim has four tough games (Dallas at home, at Los Angeles, Colorado and Washington). Flames have been competitive in head to head play (won 7 of L12 head to head) and that includes 4 of the last 6 in Los Angeles. At this point, however, just can’t recommend a play on the Flames against a pissed off Kings team.


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