The Calgary Flames won a thriller at the Saddledome over the Washington Capitals on Thursday in a shootout. It was a back and forth affair with the Flames ultimately come out on top by a score of 6-5. The Flames have been scratching and clawing for everything they can get recently.
There weren’t many blemishes on the Flames’ resume last season, but they’ve had to go through a bit of adversity to open the season. The defence has been abysmal and it wasn’t any better against the Capitals on Thursday. The Flames needed the offence to come out in full force to get 2 points in that contest.
Calgary enter the Heritage Classic on Saturday night with a record of 6-5-1. That has them in a tie with the Canucks and Coyotes in the Pacific. This early in the season it’s difficult to separate the pretenders from the contenders, especially in the NHL where there is so much parity. As far as the Coyotes are concerned, I think they’re a much tougher out in 2019-20. The Canucks are also going to have a better team. However, who knows if the Oilers are for real at this point or if the Flames can duplicate what they did last season.
The Flames are a team I’m waiting on. They obviously have the talent to be a threat, but there could also be a letdown after a 1st place finish in the Western Conference last season. It came crashing down for them in five games against the Avalanche in the spring.
The Jets have been Jekyll and Hyde to start the season, too. They head into Mosaic Stadium with a record of 5-6-0 and 10 points in the Central. The Jets finished 2nd behind the Avalanche in the division last season. Again, the Jets are a team I think we’re going to have to wait on to see what they do. Winnipeg click when Patrick Laine is, so it could be as simple as him getting hot or cold. Head below for our free Flames vs. Jets pick in the Heritage Classic at Mosaic Stadium in Winnipeg.
Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets Pick
If you’re new to hockey, the Heritage Classic is an outdoor hockey game. This is being played at the home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL, so it puts an interesting twist on the season early on at a neutral site. Despite this being a gimmick game, the Jets have to take it seriously. They’ve been struggling to find some consistency recently and a win in this marquee game could give them a boost. Following a three-game win streak, the Jets lost three in a row and have won just one of their previous four outings. Their most recent loss was an embarrassing 3-2 defeat against the lowly Kings.
A lengthy break came at the perfect time for the Jets. They haven’t played since Tuesday night, so the Jets have had plenty of time to get ready for this outdoor matchup. That’s three nights off for the Jets who needed it given their slide recently. If there is any perfect time to get time off it’s on the heels of a run like that. Along with the loss to the Kings, the Jets looked horrible in a 7-2 loss against the Penguins in Winnipeg.
While the Jets are coming off a break, the Flames are coming off a big win over the Capitals on Thursday night. They’ve been playing solid hockey at the Saddledome, but the road has provided a much different outlook. The Flames are 2-4-0 on the road this season and the offence has had no jump away from Calgary.
They’ve scored just 1.83 goals per game, while allowing 3.5 goals a game on the road in 2019-20. This should be a quality matchup at Mosaic Stadium tonight, but I give the edge to the Jets as a home underdog here. They’ve had plenty of time to get amped up for the Heritage Classic. A loss to the Kings should have been a good wakeup alarm for the Jets early on this season. I’m under the impression that they come out with a different look tonight outdoors. As an underdog on three night’s rest and playing in Regina provides good value for the Jets here.