NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Flames (October 18)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Flames (October 18) article feature image

Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Huberdeau.

Golden Knights vs. Flames Odds

Golden Knights Odds+135
Flames Odds-160
Over/Under6.5 (+100/-120)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The 3-0 Vegas Golden Knights will head into Calgary for matchup with the Flames, who are also undefeated at 2-0, with impressive wins over the Avalanche and Oilers.

This contest offers a massive opportunity for the Knights to show their turnaround this season is legitimate, facing off against a Calgary team that seems very likely to be elite again this season.

Will the Knights make an early season statement Tuesday?

Golden Knights Face a Tough Challenge After Soft Schedule

Vegas were a popular bounce-back candidate to many this season, mainly because of the obvious fact that it's roster missed an incredible amount of man games last season, and high-end players.

Jack Eichel had not fully settled back into play last year with his new team, and Captain Mark Stone was one of Vegas more ailing players, as the two-way star played through a nagging back injury for the entirety of the season.

The Knights also brought in head coach Bruce Cassidy, who found a lot of success at the NHL level throughout his stay in Boston.

Rookie netminder Logan Thompson was also viewed as somewhat of a question mark, but with that said he was excellent down the stretch last year, and his potential this season could also be viewed as a positive for this team.

Well the early returns on each of those factors has been excellent for Vegas.

The team seems to be effectively using Bruce Cassidy's defensive systems to start the season, and has played to an xGF/60 rating of 2.13 throughout three games, which as an elite mark on par with Cassidy's Bruins sides.

Jack Eichel and Mark Stone have each looked solid to start the campaign, combining for a total of 5 points so far, while Vegas former top-liners Jon Marchessault and William Karlsson have looked good in smaller roles to start the season up front.

Logan Thompson has played to a +1.9 goals saved above expected rating with a .947 save %, and continues to build on his small sample of results which suggests he is actually an above average starter at the NHL level.

The concern to all of these points is that the Knights schedule has been fairly soft, as it has played the Kings, Blackhawks, and Kraken, and therefore tonight's road game against a very tough Flames side is very intriguing.

Flames Looking Strong, Especially With New Additions

Through two games, the new look Flames are offering up a similar narrative as the visiting Knights, as each of Calgary's offseason additions has displayed some strong form in tough matchups against Colorado and Edmonton.

Nazem Kadri was signed via free agency this offseason and offers a massive boost to the Flames second line, which was an area of weakness last season relative to the rest of the team.

Kadri has managed three points throughout the season's first two games, including what was a very pretty first career goal as a Flame on the road versus Edmonton Saturday.

The Flames' other high-profile additions of Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar from Florida have also looked really strong, even if the production has not entirely been there yet.

Huberdeau clearly took the deal out of Florida very hard, and all indications are that he is as motivated as ever this season to carry his side to some lofty results.

The Flames' power-play unit has clicked at 33% (3-for-9) to start the season, which is far from surprising considering the personnel on hand.

Calgary also has played to a third-best xGF/60 rating of 13.25 throughout that small sample size, which is matching the eye test, which states that the unit is going to remain very effective with Huberdeau and Kadri sliding into the roles once held by Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.

Jacob Markstrom will start this contest after resting Saturday in favor of backup Dan Vladar, and by all indications should be viewed as a very strong starting option this season.

Golden Knights vs. Flames Pick

Vegas will get its first meaningful test of the season in this Pacific division showdown, and it's one that I personally am incredibly excited to watch.

These teams could very realistically each end up winning the division, and this is a huge spot for the Knights to show the 3-0 start is legitimate facing some elite competition.

For me, game prices around -150/+130 on sides look fair, and I am not overly interested in getting involved in that area.

However, I do believe this could be a good spot to target one of the league's best playmakers with some plays on Jonathan Huberdeau to produce. I like the idea of splitting one unit between Huberdeau to manage over 0.5 power-play points at +154, and on Huberdeau to record one assist at -102.

I feel confident with where Huberdeau's game is at right now, and as alluded to above, I believe the fit is there with his new team and that he is highly motivated.

Defensively, the Knights really have not been tested by a tougher offence, and I do think the Flames will be able to generate a reasonable offensive total here, and that this game likely gets close or passed it's higher total of 6.5.

The Flames' power-play has looked really sharp throughout its opening two contests, and I believe there's a good chance we see Huberdeau and the top-unit make some noise tonight.

That should likely mean an assist from Huberdeau, killing both of these plays at once, but obviously he is very capable of generating scoring chances at five-on-five, and why I like the idea of a smaller play on each.

Pick: Jonathon Huberdeau Over 0.5 Power-Play Points (+154), Over 0.5 Assists (-102)

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