NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Coyotes vs. Flames (December 5)
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Calgary Flames
- The Flames host the Coyotes in a Western Conference matchup on Monday night.
- Calgary has won two of its past three games while Arizona is looking to snap a four-game losing skid.
- Carol Schram digs into the matchup and offers up her best bet below.
Coyotes vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Calgary Flames will play the fourth game of a five-game homestand when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.
Calgary is coming off a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, but is performing below expectations this season. Their record is 11-10-3 with 25 points in 24 games.
As for the Coyotes, Monday will be Game 13 of their record-tying 14-game road trip. Considering their vagabond schedule and budget-conscious roster, the Coyotes have fared reasonably well so far this season. They’re 7-11-4 with 18 points in 22 games, and are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Vancouver.
Here’s a look at the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.
The Arizona Coyotes were never intended to be good this season. They’re keeping their costs to a minimum, bringing along their young players and setting themselves up to capitalize on the riches that await in the 2023 NHL Draft.
But the players who step on the ice every night are wired to try to win. Arizona is a big team that plays hard, aiming to keep scores close enough to let its skill players capitalize when opportunities arise.
The Coyotes rank last in the league in expected goal share at 5-on-5 (39.51%). And while they have the fifth-lowest scoring average at 2.68 goals per game, their power play is a respectable 22.7%.
They’re outside the bottom 10 defensively, giving up 3.45 goals per game. That’s thanks, in part, to sophomore goaltender Karel Vejmelka, whose 14.2 goals saved above expected are second-best in the NHL, behind only Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders.
Vejmelka’s a workhorse, but has recently been resting every third game. So it’s possible the Coyotes could turn to backup Connor Ingram on Monday night. His numbers are weaker — a 1-5-1 record and -3.7 goals saved above expected, to go along with his .889 save percentage.
The current road trip has seemed endless, but the Coyotes have managed to stay healthy. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun has been back in the lineup for the past six games and is playing big minutes while being showcased for a trade that Arizona is hoping will deliver a big return.
After winning five of their first six games, the road has gotten rocky for the Calgary Flames. They’re 6-9-3 since October 29, despite this season’s 5-on-5 expected goals share of 53.39%, which is sixth-best in the NHL.
Of course, the Flames also underwent some major offseason renovations up front, saying goodbye to Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk and hello to Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau.
Huberdeau’s production has slipped from last season, and Kadri has had trouble delivering reliable two-way play. In fact, he’s a team-worst minus-six through 24 games. The Flames have gone from being elite on both sides of the puck last season to just okay this year. And they haven’t gotten the same Vezina-quality goaltending from Jacob Markstrom, who’s sitting at -0.1 goals saved above expected.
But like last season, the Flames are pretty healthy. The only significant absence is Oliver Kylington, who is away from the team for personal reasons.
Coyotes vs. Flames Pick
Sunday was a day off for both teams, so there are no early updates on lineups or starting goaltenders. Dan Vladar stepped in to earn the win for the Flames on Saturday and Vejmelka could be due for a rest.
The Flames have a chance to build off their decisive win over Washington on Saturday night, which saw their slumbering offense perk up for the second time in three games. Calgary matches up well against Arizona as the Flames won all three meetings last season by multiple goals.
At -320, there isn’t much incentive to back the Flames on the moneyline.
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