NHL Hockey Betting: Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Hockey Betting:  Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Calgary Flames were hoping to get off to a strong start in the 2016-2017 NHL season. They had a healthy compliment of players and had appeared to have addressed their goaltending situation with the acquisition of former St. Louis Blues’ goaltender Brian Elliott. Fifty games in, they look a lot like they did last season. The Flames are currently 24-24-3 and are in fourth place in the Pacific Division. They’re one point ahead of fifth place Vancouver and 3 ahead of sixth place Los Angeles. They’re 9 points back of Edmonton and San Jose who are tied for second and 12 back of the division leading Anaheim Ducks. They limp into this game against the Canadiens at Montreal’s Bell Centre on a 3-6-1 run having lost three straight.

The Montreal Canadiens have cooled off measurably since the start of the season but due to the overall mediocrity of the Atlantic Division they’ve been able to hold onto first place. They currently have an 8 point advantage over the second place Ottawa Senators, a ten point edge over the third place Toronto Maple Leafs and an 11 point lead over the third place Boston Bruins. The Habs are just 5-4-1 in their last ten games but unless the rest of the division starts to string some wins together a ‘breakeven’ performance will allow them to sustain their lead. They have been excellent at home this season with a 16-5-3 record at the Bell Centre.

The Flames are scheduled to start Chad Johnson for this game after Brian Elliott was chased by the Edmonton Oilers last time out. Johnson has a record of 16-11-1 with a 2.41 goals against average and a 0.917 save percentage. He’s been more reliable for much of the year than the much higher priced Elliott. Montreal will start Carey Price who is having a nice comeback season after his injury plagued campaign last year. Price is 21-9-5 with a 2.36 goals against average and a 0.920 save percentage. Just hard to make a case for Calgary here. Montreal has been rock solid at home this season while the Flames have a mediocre road record of 11-10-3. Montreal is very good at controlling play in the defensive end and that’s a nightmare for the Flames.


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