NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Sharks vs. Flames (March 22)
Kavin Mistry /NHLI. Pictured: The Sharks celebrate.
- The Sharks meet the Flames on Tuesday night in Calgary.
- The Flames are loading up for a playoff run, while San Jose looks to finish the season strong.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Sharks vs. Flames Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With the 2022 trade deadline now in the books, we’re officially into the stretch run for the NHL’s first 82-game regular season in three years.
On Tuesday, it looks like a battle between contender and pretender at the Saddledome, as the Calgary Flames kick off a six-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks
But there’s more to this matchup than initially meets the eye.
Here’s the latest on both teams’ post-deadline rosters, and your best bet for Tuesday’s game.
Sharks Relatively Quiet at Deadline
The San Jose Sharks have improved from their last two seasons, playing to a .500 record so far. They’re still well outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference, but didn’t end up being big trade-deadline sellers.
The Sharks’ biggest move heading into the deadline was giving a big contract extension to impending free agent Tomas Hertl. Last week, Hertl was inked to an eight-year deal worth $65.1 million.
Acting general manager Joe Will also elected to hang on to goaltender James Reimer despite rumored interest from other teams. He went on to improve his goaltending depth by acquiring the steady Kaapo Kahkonen from the Minnesota Wild.
Depth defenseman Jacob Middleton was the key piece that went to Minnesota in that deal. Veteran forward Andrew Cogliano also changed addresses, landing with the Colorado Avalanche.
So the post-deadline Sharks look a little stronger in net. Otherwise, not much different. That probably earned a big sigh of relief inside the locker room.
The Sharks are coming off a 4-2 home win over the Arizona Coyotes and are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. They’re kicking off a quick two-game road trip through Alberta in Calgary on Tuesday.
San Jose could have AHL call-ups Ryan Merkley and Sasha Chmelevski in the lineup against the Flames.
Flames Positioned for Playoff Run
The Calgary Flames got their trade-deadline business done early. They added depth at forward by picking up Tyler Toffoli more than a month ago, then trading for Calle Jarnkrok last week. The Flames also brought in another depth center on Monday, picking up Ryan Carpenter from Chicago after veteran Brad Richardson was claimed on waivers by Vancouver.
The moves leave the Flames well-positioned to make their first serious playoff run in nearly two decades. Calgary has won just two playoff rounds in total since going to the Stanley Cup Final back in 2004. And yes, Darryl Sutter was behind the bench back then, too.
The Flames are currently perched comfortably atop the Pacific Division. Their +66 goal differential is third-best in the league, behind only Florida and Colorado.
Calgary ranks sixth in average goals per game, second in goals against, fourth on the penalty kill and 11th on the power play. And while Jacob Markstrom ranks among the NHL’s goaltending leaders with 12.1 goals saved above expected, backup Dan Vladar sits at -5.3. However, Vladar has been excellent in his last two starts, allowing just two goals against both Colorado and Vancouver.
Vladar could see a bit more work down the stretch, as the Flames aim to keep Markstrom fresh for the postseason.
Sharks vs. Flames Pick
Despite the vast differences in these teams’ fortunes this season, the Sharks actually hold a 2-0-0 advantage in the season series to date. San Jose beat Calgary 4-1 at the Saddledome on Nov. 9, then 5-3 back at the Shark Tank on Dec. 7.
In the big picture, there’s no doubt that the Flames are the better team. But because they know how good they are, they can sometimes take lower-ranking squads lightly. Another example of this came last Friday, when they lost 1-0 in overtime to Buffalo, on home ice.
We can count on solid goaltending from the Sharks on Tuesday, whether it’s likely starter Reimer or newcomer Kahkonen. And the Sharks players could be feeling relieved about the chance to get back to work without all the trade chatter looming over their heads.
It might be too much to expect the Sharks to pick up a third win against Calgary on Tuesday. But at close to plus money, there’s more value in backing San Jose to keep it close than you can get from betting on the Flames.
The Sharks on the puck line look good here.
Pick: Sharks +1.5 (-105); play down to -125
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