The Calgary Flames remain out west following an impressive performance on Monday night at the Shark Tank in San Jose. They pounded the Sharks for a 6-2 win in the first game of a three-game west coast road trip in California. The Flames will turn their attention to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night after a date with the Kings tonight. It’s two winnable games for the Flames, but they can’t overlook the Kings or Ducks. Two winnable games that could result in 4 huge points for the Flames.
They might need it down the road, either for playoff positioning or just to get into the postseason. The Flames have looked sharp as ever recently, with convincing wins over the Canucks and Sharks by scores of 6-2. Beating the Sharks isn’t all that impressive, but the Canucks are a heck of a team that shouldn’t be ignored in the next months. It’s also never easy to blow out teams on the road. Even after a big win, the Flames were able to avoid a letdown which should be noted. It’s possible that losses in Los Angeles and Anaheim would disrupt some of the rhythm that they were developing, though.
Calgary continues to battle in a tight Pacific Division that hasn’t shown too many signs of breaking up soon. There have been five teams within shouting distance of one another for pretty well all season. While the Canucks have been able to pull ahead slightly by 3 points over the Flames, Golden Knights, Coyotes, and Oilers, that doesn’t provide much breathing room. Note that the Oilers are currently leading the Blackhawks, so it could only be a 1-point lead when you’re reading this.
Remember that the top-3 teams from each division are going to the playoffs, along with two wildcards from each conference. That means we could have a wild race in the Pacific when late March rolls around. There are so many scenarios that could play out for five teams in just this division alone. If you hear about parity in the NHL, this is a perfect example of how closely aligned teams are in this league.
Getting a bottom seed in the NBA is a death sentence in the playoffs. However, any team with a seat at the table has a good opportunity in the NHL. That means that the Flames, despite flopping last season in the playoffs, could be a surprise if they get in. The talent is there, but they just have to hit that hot chord at the right moment. They have to worry about getting into the playoffs first, though, and a win over the Kings would help in that regard. Head below for our free Flames vs. Kings pick.
Calgary Flames vs. L.A. Kings Betting Odds:
Flames vs. Kings Prediction:
The Flames head into Wednesday with a record of 29-22-6 and 64 points. Despite the recent success against the Canucks and Sharks, the Flames were losers in five of their last six games before downing Vancouver and picking up some momentum. The offence has been one of the hottest and coldest in the league. There hasn’t been much rhythm one week to the next, but if the Flames can get hot at the right moment then they’re not going to be an easy team to slow down.
The Flames have not averaged that many goals this season, with 2.72 goals per game for 22nd in the league. That being said, their offence has more talent on it than 2.72 goals a game indicates. There were some Flames that had really cool starts to the season, which extended into the latter stages of the first-half. Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau were not playing to their full potential, but we’ve been seeing a shift of late. The Kings were terrible to open the season, stabilized for a while, but are right back to playing really poor hockey.
LA have won just one game in ten of their previous eleven outings. Dating back to January 4, their last 15 games, the Kings are winners in two games. The only standout game was the win over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 5-2. They took advantage of a shaky Malcolm Subban in that contest. Their other win was a near loss, as the Kings needed overtime to defeat the Coyotes on January 30, which is their most recent victory. In their previous ten outings, the Kings have managed to score only 1.9 goals per game while allowing 3.6 goals against. That adds up to a lot of lopsided losses for the Kings.
The best weapon for the Kings this season has been home ice. They’ve been able to take a hold of teams who go into Los Angeles and take them lightly on a road trip. The Flames are on a road trip, so they fit into that category, but are they going to take their eyes off the Kings tonight? They’re obviously the better team, and if they play their game, it should be a win for them on Wednesday night. I don’t think the Flames can afford to take the Kings lightly here, and with the playoff race heating up, they likely aren’t going to go into the Staples Center feeling lazy. I’m on the Flames to build on their last two wins and make it a three-game winning streak on Wednesday night in LA.