NHL Hockey Betting: Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Spoiler alert–these teams don’t like each other. Actually, it goes a lot deeper than that. These franchises and for that matter these cities don’t like each other. American hockey fans might not realize how intense the rivalry between Calgary and Vancouver is. It’s a degree of intensity less than the rivalry between Edmonton and Calgary which is more like a hardcore US college football rivalry (think Auburn/Alabama) than most pro sports rivalries. To make things even better, this matchup has implications in the standings as well. The Flames are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and are up to fourth place in the Pacific Division 3 points behind third place Edmonton and 4 points behind the teams tied for first place–San Jose and Anaheim. Vancouver is in sixth place but they’re not far off the pace. They’re 1 point behind fifth place Los Angeles, 3 points behind Calgary, 6 points back of Edmonton and 7 points behind the two teams in first place. After a shabby start to the season the Canucks are playing very well winning 5 straight and going 7-2-1 in their last ten games.

The Canucks still need to work on their road play. They’ve got a solid record at Rogers Arena (14-6-2) but they’re just 5-12-1 on the road. Calgary is just the opposite–they’re 10-10-0 at the Saddledome but 11-7-2 away from home. Over the past three seasons Calgary has had their way with the Canucks (11-6-0) but on home ice it’s been a very even matchup (4-4-0). Also worth noting that teams have gone ‘Under’ in six straight in Vancouver but in the last 7 games the totals are 3 OV, 3 UN, 1 push. Calgary won the most recent meeting (12/23/16) prevailing 4-1 at the Saddledome. Vancouver won the first meeting of the year at home 2-1. The Flames have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.

Hard to figure out what is going on with the Flames goaltending. Brian Elliott was acquired in the offseason to be ‘the man’ but struggled in the early going. Chad Johnson played well in his stead and the thinking was that Elliott would be traded. Then Johnson started to struggle (lost 4 straight starts) and Elliott has regained his form to some degree. Whatever the thinking is in Calgary significant to note that Elliot has now started 5 of the last 7 after a stretch where he started only 2 of 15. Ryan Miller will be in goal for Vancouver. We’ll take a shot on the home team.


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