Ducks vs. Flames | NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction
Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Toffoli.
- The Calgary Flames host the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
- The Flames are fighting to secure a wild card spot in the NHL playoffs and have a solid matchup against a slumping Ducks squad.
- Continue reading for Nick Martin’s Ducks vs. Flames preview and his player prop picks.
Ducks vs. Flames Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Flames are priced as a gigantic favorite on Sunday night to beat the visiting Ducks, who have dropped seven consecutive matchups after a 7-0 pummeling last night in Edmonton.
This is essentially a “must-win” game for Calgary as it looks to steal the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. from the Jets.
While I would never argue that players and coaches are “tanking” in the NHL, it is clear looking at the current lottery picture that GMs can certainly set teams up for failure.
As Connor Bedard begins to light up the WHL playoffs, Anaheim, Chicago and Columbus have combined to lose 19 consecutive games. The bottom 10 teams in the league have combined to lose a shocking 38 of its last 41 contests altogether.
Anaheim, in particular, has been far from a scrappy underdog down the stretch. Over the last 15 games, the Ducks have played to a shockingly poor xGF% of 38.34, and now holds an overall expected goals rating of 39.34 on the season. They’ve allowed a whopping 39.17 shots against per 60 over that span.
No team has finished with an xGF% below 40% since the 2014-15 Sabres, which conveniently enough occurred in Connor McDavid’s draft year.
Anaheim’s defensive play has undoubtedly been historically bad. At this point, there’s no reason to expect things will change 75 games in.
Troy Terry is likely to remain out for tonight’s contest, and is a massive loss to an extremely thin offensive core bearing few playdrivers of any sort.
Lukas Dostal is likely to start in goal for the Ducks. He has played to a -0.9 GSAx and a .901 save % in 15 appearances.
Calgary’s 5-4 comeback win in Vancouver on Friday was the first time this season it has won a game when trailing after two periods. The victory could offer a massive momentum boost.
The Flames have consistently controlled play at a very effective rate all season, but the strength of Calgary’s play has been hidden by some bad luck and a few glaring flaws.
Calgary has hit the most posts in the league, suffered the most one-goal losses and has received surprisingly poor goaltending from Jacob Markstrom.
One thing Calgary has done well is generate a ton of attempts on goal and spend lots of time playing in the offensive zone. Over the last 15 games, Calgary has generated 34.12 shots on goal per 60, which includes two games versus Anaheim in which Calgary put up 43 and 37 shots.
Markstrom will likely start in goal and has played to a -4.8 GSAx rating and .890 save % through 54 appearances.
Ducks vs. Flames Pick
Things feel a little different with the Flames right now, and this game sets up as an incredibly tough spot for the Ducks.
We can safely say Calgary will control far more of the play and that it’s realistic to project 45 or more shots on goal in this spot, which makes it excellent time to target a couple of the Flames’ primary shooters.
Tyler Toffoli is in excellent form and has been the backbone of Calgary’s push for a playoff berth. He is Darryl Sutter’s guy, and is always likely to receive strong usage in any non blowout.
Toffoli has scored seven goals and 13 points over the last eight games. He has averaged 3.6 shots on goal per game during this stretch, and is the primary shooter on the Flames’ top unit and top powerplay.
In a smash spot, we should see Toffoli manage four shots on goal often enough to hold value at +100, and I would back him down to -115.
Pick: Tyler Toffoli Over 3.5 SOG (+100 | Play to -115)
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MacKenzie Weegar’s ability to jump up in the play and generate offense as a defender has been extremely noticeable of late as well. Weegar has 16 shots on goal over the last four matchups, and is another solid look at +100 to record over 2.5 shots on goal.
Pick: MacKenzie Weegar Over 2.5 SOG (+100)
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