Calgary Flames @ St. Louis Blues – Scottrade Center at 23:00
Saturday night hockey comes to the Lou for my latest NHL Handicap Betting preview. The Blues host the Calgary Flames with both teams comfortably in playoff positions.
Can the Flames regain their good form?
The Calgary Flames won ten consecutive games in the space of three weeks. Since their run came to an end they have won two and lost the same amount. Although both of these defeats have been their most recent results. Thanks to their winning streak, Calgary should make the playoffs following last season’s disappointing campaign. Expectations were high for the Flames after surprisingly reaching the post season in the preceding year, however the expectant results did not come to fruition.
Johnny Gaudreau is the franchise player for the Flames. The diminutive winger had a stellar college career where he was nicknamed Johnny Hockey. The fourth round pick from 2011 is a creative dynamo with the puck and leads his side in assists (38) and points (54) despite playing less games than his team mates.
The goaltending issue has improved marginally from last year. Both Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo were released by the franchise last summer. They were replaced by Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson who have overcome their shaky starts in the crease.
Good times for the Blues
The St. Louis Blues head into this game with a good run of form. The Missouri outfit have won four consecutive games to propel them to third position in the Central at the expense of Nashville. In fact the Blues have won nine of their last ten games as they aim to finish this season in scintillating style. As mentioned in previous previews on St. Louis, they have faced a lot of adversity this campaign. Head coach Ken Hitchcock was dismissed for poor results. Most recently, key defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk was traded to Washington. In spite of this St. Louis seem to be playing their best hockey so far which bodes well for next month.
Vladimir Tarasenko is the leading point scorer by some considerable margin with 65. He also leads with 35 goals. Head coach Mike Yeo knows that his side cannot be reliant on the Russian come the playoffs. Depth scoring is one of the major factors to a sides success in the post season.
These two Western Conference sides have shared the spoils in their two games this season. As aforementioned, St. Louis are in excellent form and there is great value on them getting another win under their belts at 2.31! It should also be worth noting that Calgary have lost their last two games on the road.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: St. Louis Blues -0.5 at 2.31 (excluding OT)
Prices correct at time of writing
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