Can the Vancouver Canucks extinguish the Flames on Saturday night?
Led by J.T. Miller and his hat-trick performance, the team was able to rattle off an impressive 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night, while also helping Spencer Martin earn his first NHL win in the process.
Following their win, the Canucks nows sit at 19-19-5, occupying seventh in the Pacific Division. Vancouver also sits three points behind the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, which is coincidentally held by their next opponent.
Calgary is coming off a 5-1 defeat to the St. Louis Blues, and have stalled after their good start to the season, going 4-6-0 in their last ten games. Despite the slump, the Flames currently hold a record of 20-13-6, while also having approximately five games in hand on every team above them.
Led by veteran head coach Darryl Sutter, the Flames boast talents such as Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk, and Johnny Gaudreau. As found with most of Sutter’s teams, Calgary boasts top-ten units on both the power play and penalty kill, in addition to being labelled as one of the most structured teams in hockey.
This matchup will be the first of four between now and the end of the season for these two teams, with each game projected to hold large playoff implications.
It’s unclear whether Demko or Halak will be sharp enough and in game-condition to get the start at the Scotiabank Saddledome; however the Canucks should still be in good hands if they need to rely on Martin is forced to get another start.
The 26-year-old has registered a .958 save percentage in his first three starts this season, while also allowing an average of just 1.59 goals per game.
Calgary is expected to go with ex-Canuck and incumbent starter Jacob Markstrom on Saturday.
The odds for this game are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook, the official betting partner of FanSided.
Over 5.5 goals at -105
Under 5.5 goals -115
Canucks +1.5 at -145
Flames -1.5 at +125
After an embarrassing defeat to St. Louis, expect the Flames to provide lots of energy at home against the Canucks. Vancouver will be full of confidence following their impressive road win against Winnipeg, and should carry that momentum into this game that holds massive implications.
Given what’s at stake for both teams as they enter the second half of the season, don’t be surprised if it’s a cagey start. This game could also very well be decided by special teams and discipline.
In the end, this contributor reckons that this game will be decided by one goal either way, and that the Canucks could cover the spread as a result.
Pick: Canucks +1.5 at -145
What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Canucks and Flames? What bets will you be placing on the game? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!