NHL Hockey Betting: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames

NHL Hockey Betting:  Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Nashville Predators will try to do something they haven’t done all season long when they take on the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night. The Preds are 0-6 in the second of back to back games this season and coming off a 2-1 win at Vancouver on Tuesday they’ll try to close out the pre-All Star Break slate on a positive note. The Flames have been very erratic this season but have been on a downturn lately–they’re 4-5-1 in their last ten games and have lost their last two. This is the Flames’ first game back at home after a five game road trip where they went 1-4 though played a tough game at Dallas last time out before losing 2-1 to the Stars.

The good news for the Flames is that they no longer have the worst team defense in hockey. That dubious distinction now goes to the Columbus Blue Jackets though Calgary is tied for #29 with Ottawa–and these three teams are the only ones in the NHL allowing more than 3 goals per game. Nashville’s team defense has been disappointing this year–actually, their defense has been fine. Their goaltending has been disappointing, particularly the play of starter Pekka Rinne. Rinne is returning to form, however, and earned the ‘first star’ in Tuesday’s win at Vancouver. He gets tonight off in favor of backup Carter Hutton who is typically pretty solid as far as NHL backup goaltenders go with a 4-2-1 record, a 2.55 goals against average and a 0.910 save percentage.

Calgary will start Karri Ramo who is the Flames’ best goalie by default with a 16-16-1 record, a 2.64 goals against average and a 0.910 save percentage. He’s been erratic as has the entire team–he’s capable of a strong showing but the Flames’ defensive stat lines are downright bizarre. In their recent games they’ve allowed 1,2,5,0,2,4,2,5,2 goals against. If they could eliminate the out and out collapses in their own end they’d be a pretty solid defense from a statistical standpoint.

In this matchup, most of the past performance data points to the Flames but the recent form has us on Nashville. The Preds have won three straight and four of five with the only loss coming against the Chicago Blackhawks. In their four recent wins they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 13-3.


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