Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:10 PM EST.
10:05 PM EST. Regulation only. The Coyotes have been a live pooch for a few weeks now with an 11-5-2 record over its last 18 games. We have backed the ‘Yotes in a few of those while pointing out how underrated they have been because of their atrocious start to the season. However, it is the Flames that are being disrespected here because of recent results and that provides us with this great opportunity. Allow us to elaborate.
Calgary is coming off two blowout losses on paper. They lost 7-4 to the Sharks and followed that up with a 4-0 loss in Vegas yesterday against a then reeling Knights’ squad. Prior to beating Edmonton 1-0, Calgary lost 5-2 to an Islanders’ team that has one win in their past 11 games. In recapping. Calgary has lost three of their last four, lost to two reeling teams in the process and was outscored in those three losses by an ugly combined score of 16-6. To suggest Calgary’s stock is low would be an understatement. Now the Flames are on the verge of missing the playoffs. In fact, http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html gives them just a 3½% chance of making the playoffs after last night’s results.
Once again, the market and NHL media only sees results. Calgary lost to Vegas yesterday because Marc Andre Fleury was great and Mike Smith was not. Calgary played a near flawless first period in which they dominated from start to finish. The Flames were clearly the better team but lost. Against San Jose in that 7-4 loss, it was much of the same, as Mike Smith could not stop a puck before getting yanked. Calgary was clearly the better team with the metrics to prove it. See that 5-2 loss to the Islanders? Calgary outshot the Isles 52-27, out-Corsied them by an eye-opening 73-43 and lost. It was perhaps one of the more dominant performances of the year that looked like the Islanders were killing a 60-minute penalty but the market only sees the result. Calgary is first or top-3 in every key offensive metric over the past six weeks and top-5 in many key defensive metrics over that same span. Mike Smith has been awful in goal since returning for which there is no cure for but we highly doubt that he’ll be back in goal for this one. The Flames are now on life support but we give them a much chance than 3½% to make the playoffs, as they are just four points back of the Avalanche, who are by far the inferior team between the two. Calgary is playing outstanding hockey without the results but if water indeed finds its level, Calgary should win this one going away against a Coyotes team that has scored two goals or less in five of their last six games.
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Calgary -½ +141 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.82)