I made one NHL pick last night and it didn’t end well as my skid continues.
To be clear, I’d take the pick all over again as the situation absolutely warranted it.
The Senators – playing their second game in as many nights – entered with a 5-14-5 road record where they ranked 27th on offense and 29th on defense. Their goaltender had been atrocious of late and bad on the road for the season as a whole.
Ottawa had lost 10 of 11, while the rested Sabres had won three of four with a red-hot goaltender and a good home offense.
So, of course, the Senators scored the first goal of the game early, and the chase was on from there. The game was tied at two heading into the third to give the pick hope, but Ottawa scored three third-period goals and outshot the Sabres 39-30, scored three times on the power play and took this one by a 5-2 count.
Garbage effort from what should have been a desperate Sabres team to be sure, but there’s nothing we can do about it now other than turn our attention to a solid six-game Wednesday night slate!
Season Record: 82-72-1
Now let’s take a look at a free NHL pick featuring the Flames vs. Oilers in a rivalry matchup from Rogers Place in Edmonton!
Flames vs. Oilers Betting Odds
- Flames (+105)
- Oilers (-116)
- Flames +1.5 (-225)
- Oilers -1.5 (+195)
- Over 6 (-110)
- Under 6 (+100)
Flames vs. Oilers NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these teams before we get into our final pick!
The Flames battled the west-leading Blues hard in last night’s contest but dropped a 5-4 shootout affair and face tough back-to-back tonight in Edmonton.
After a five-game win streak, the Flames have dropped three of four and for the most part, offense has been an issue.
It wasn’t in last night’s contest, however the Flames had scored just three regulation goals over their previous three games and despite plenty of talent up front – talent that got them near the top of the league in offense just last season – it’s been an offensive struggle for much of the year.
The Flames are decent at home in averaging 3.08 goals per game (20th) but that number craters to just 2.22 goals per game on the road, good for 30th league wide while their 15.8% mark on the power play away from home checks in at 24th.
The Flames have scored two goals or less in four straight road games and have averaged 1.25 regulation goals per game during that stretch.
Their road power play has gone 0 for 7 over their last three.
As a result, it’s a good thing that they’ve played pretty well defensively away from home while their penalty kill has held up nicely on the road as well.
Calgary sits 11th with 2.93 goals against per game on the road this season where their 82.3% mark on the penalty kill checks in at fifth in the league.
The penalty kill has been roughed up a bit of late, however, going just 4 for 7 (57.1%) over their last three games and just 3 for 5 over their last two on the road.
After Cam Talbot took the loss last night on home ice, tonight’s start will go to No.1 David Rittich who took part in the All-Star festivities over the weekend.
Rittich has had a nice year in posting a 2.77 GAA and .913 Sv% to this point in what marks his first year as an NHL starter.
His splits are pretty much dead-even as he owns a 2.79 GAA and .915 Sv% on the road in 20 starts and he’s worked to a quite similar 2.69 GAA and .913 Sv% in four starts for the month of January.
After a brilliant outing in Toronto where he turned aside 35 of 36 shots in a 2-1 shootout win, Rittich allowed four goals on just 20 shots in Ottawa in his final start before the break.
The Oilers – not to name specific names – will be looking for revenge in this one tonight after they dropped a heated 4-3 affair in Calgary back on January 11th.
Potential royal rumble aside, these are a couple of desperate team that are part of a serious logjam in the Pacific Division.
The Oilers currently sit third in Pacific, but still a point back of second-place Calgary, but with two games in hand.
While the Battle of Alberta is alive and well, the Oilers would be wise to focus on the task at hand and taking advantage of a Flames team playing their second game in as many nights.
The Oilers enter this one ranked 10th with 3.39 goals per game at home this season where their power play has also dominated to the tune of a 31.6% clip, good for second-place league wide.
The problem has been at the other end of the ice and it’s a major one.
The Oilers have managed to surpass the historically-bad Red Wings for the NHL’s worst home defense where they’ve allowed 3.57 goals per game on the season.
Furthermore, their 74.2% mark on the penalty kill at home is good for 29th league wide.
Of course, they have gone 5 for 16 (31.3%) on the power play over their last five games, but have gone 13 for 17 on the penalty kill in that same stretch, good for a 76.5% mark.
A Flames power play goal was the difference and game-winner the last time these two met.
Goaltending has also been an issue for the Oilers of late after both Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen began the season playing quite well.
That said, the Oilers have yet to announce a starter for this one, so I’m not going to go into much detail about the two here.
However, both own splits that do not favor the home side, of course, but Mike Smith has been far better of late, posting a .924 Sv% in January while winning five in a row. I’d be surprised if he didn’t get the nod in this one against his old team.
This is probably the most anticipated hockey game of the year with all eyes on Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian.
That said, I would expect a much calmer game than anticipated unless the score gets out of hand.
Edmonton has dropped both games against the Flames this season, however, and they’ll certainly want to come up with a quality effort in this one and I want to lean on the home side here at what I believe are quality odds.
For one, the Flames played last night so the advantage is to Edmonton right away.
They’re the far batter offense here and average well over a goal more per game than the Flames do in this scenario. The Flames’ defense and penalty kill are superior here, but the kill as struggled of late.
Nonetheless, I’m looking for the Oilers’ big boys to show up here and flat-out out-score the Flames. Connor McDavid has been unbelievable in tallying 42 points in 23 games at home while Leon Draisaitl has 38 points in 23 home games.
This is a game the Oilers need to have and I think they’ll get it on the moneyline tonight.