NHL Hockey Betting: St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames

NHL Hockey Betting:  St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Tough times in Western Canada where the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are at the bottom of the Western Conference table. Not that the rest of the country is doing much better–Winnipeg is tied with the Flames and Oilers and Vancouver is out of playoff contention with 66 points. The Flames were humiliated by Arizona in their last game losing 4-1 to the Coyotes. They’ve had three days off to stew about it but it’s hard to say if they even care any more. Making things worse, their opponent tonight is the St. Louis Blues who are tied for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Blues are 7-3-0 in their last ten games while the Flames are 2-6-2 in their last ten games.

Calgary is just a mess and it’s shameful given the talent in the lineup. They’re middle of the pack in goals per game (15th averaging 2.6 per) but have pitiful numbers in every other statistical category. Special teams are a ‘grease fire’ with the 29th ranked power play (15.5%) and the 30th ranked penalty kill (74.3%). Goaltending has been a disaster area for Calgary all year and due to injuries the starting netminder is 24 year old Joni Ortio. Ortio wasn’t good enough to be the backup goalie in Calgary earlier this season but now he’s the best of a lot of bad options. Ortio has a 2-7-3 record with a 2.94 goals against average and a 0.898 save percentage.

St. Louis doesn’t score a lot of goals–at least statistically–though they have one of the best individual catalysts in the game in Vladimir Tarasenko (33 goals 28 assists). St. Louis is #21 in goals per game (2.5) but top ten in everything else–#6 in goals against average (2.4), 7th on the power play (21.6) and #2 on the penalty kill (85.9). They’ve been getting better in the second half of the season while the top two teams in the Central Division have been sketchy at best.

Hard to find a bigger mismatch. Calgary is in a position where you’d *think* they’d respond with some pride after being embarrassed on home ice but as we noted at the outset its hard to say if they care anymore. Blues are 20-9-5 on the road meaning their away record is better than the Flames’ home record (18-15-2). In theory, this could be a letdown spot for St. Louis after three straight games against top level teams (Chicago, Anaheim, at Dallas) but they’ve won six straight and 9 of 12. Not sure scheduling matters in this matchup.


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