NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Flames vs. Coyotes (February 2)
Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markström and teammate Matthew Tkachuk.
- The Calgary Flames take on the Arizona Coyotes in Wednesday's NHL action.
- Both clubs are coming big come-from-behind victories Tuesday, with Arizona shocking the Colorado Avalanche.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game below and explains why he's backing Calgary.
Flames vs. Coyotes Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
The Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes posted very surprising third-period comebacks on Tuesday, as the Flames stunned Dallas going from 3-1 down to 4-3 ahead in just 3:39 of game play.
Arizona scored an empty net goal before winning a shootout that snapped the Colorado Avalanche’s 18-game home winning streak.
Arizona is sitting at around +235 to win this Wednesday’s game, compared to closing at +440 last night, so surely this upset should be a gimme right?
Calgary had a number of very valid excuses ready for what would have been a tough loss, having hit three posts and seeing two ugly goals end up in its net, but managed to change the narrative with a very impressive third-period push eventually leading to a regulation win.
It was yet another very strong result for a Flames team that continues to post better results coming out a midseason lull, a drum which I have continued to beat in a number of recent pieces, and that tune certainly will stay the same here after a very impressive victory in Dallas.
The Flames seem more and more to be closer to the team who posted spectacular results in every area to start the season. They have moved to 5-2-0 since an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to the Senators on Jan. 13, holding a league leading 64.25 xGF% in the time since.
The Flames saw some improved depth play in the big win, with the third line of Milan Lucic, Adam Ruzicka and Trevor Lewis posting a 76.1% expected goals share, with each getting a point on Lewis’ opening goal.
Ruzicka has showed some strong flashes of late since rejoining the club, and improved play from that third unit could offer a massive boost to Calgary. The Flames are still very strong altogether, but clearly have a weakness with their depth forwards.
Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk were utterly dominant yet again, combining for four points and a 68.8 xGF% and continue to be amongst the very best lines the league has to offer.
Jacob Markström was pulled after two periods in what was simply a move from the Flames’ coaching staff looking to draw a response from the group, and I would expect him to draw back in here looking to fare better.
Markström has been sharp behind a great defensive club, posting a +8.8 goals saved above expected rating with a .924 save percentage through 31 games.
Arizona put together what has to be viewed as a monumental win, finding a shocking comeback win in Colorado as a gigantic underdog.
The Coyotes had likely been due to trend upwards somewhat from the truly dreadful recent results considering a not too awful 46.05 xGF%, and surely found some of that positive regression in a crazy win.
However, as much as the Coyotes are clearly still competing hard, the results have been quite poor, going 1-5-0 over their last six contests and posting a -13 goal differential over that time.
To me, that does seem quite harsh to what I have seen of the Coyotes play recently, but at the same time the team does lack much in the way of true scoring ability, and holds some average net-minding at best, so it’s not going to be often we ever see them steal many undeserved contests, if any.
Karel Vejmelka should get the start and has often looked better than a -5.6 goals saved above expected rating and .902 save % through 26 games suggest, likely seeing those lines gashed to an extent in what is surely a tough goal to tend for the Coyotes.
My hopes have been to avoid fading Arizona moving forward, which has clearly began to compete at closer and closer levels with the rest of the league.
However, I still can’t look away from the Flames dominant recent form. And although Arizona played one of its best outings, it’s still easy to see Calgary carrying a ton of the play and exposing what is still a limited roster offensively.
Arizona are still just 1-5-0 over its last six seeing the opposition cover the puck-line in four of those five losses, and posting a -13 goal differential over that timeframe.
So, while they do appear to be competing at a reasonable level, the lack of true scoring ability, average goaltending, and still below average play driving numbers have helped to contribute to some still very poor results.
And the bigger part of my mindset here still comes from my belief about where this Calgary team is at, having clearly found the elite form seen earlier in the form of late, and I expect them to carry far more of the play.
In turn, I will be backing the Flames to cover the Puck Line at -115 odds and would play it down to -125, although I actually feel it should stay right around that -115 mark.
The Flames have generated 41.2 shots on goal per game of late, and I expect another high output here, and I think playing Karel Vejmelka’s saves prop could be another way to get value (unfortunately these are not posted early) but I would play the over up to 33.5 at close to even money.
Pick: Calgary -1.5 (-115 | Play to -125)