The Calgary Flames are in Nashville tonight following an impressive effort in Boston on Tuesday night. The Flames slayed the beast at TD Garden, and gave the Bruins only their third loss in regulation this season. That’s a legit win for the Flames, and perhaps it can be a confidence booster for a run at the Pacific Division. They’re going to have to steal a game like that here and there to have a chance. Mission accomplished in Boston, as they defeated the best home team in the NHL. There’s a lot of work ahead of them, though. The Flames go into Nashville with a record of 33-25-6 and 72 points.
Calgary trail the Vegas Golden Knights by 4 points in the Pacific. The Golden Knights have come on strong recently, something we’ve been waiting for out of a team in this division for a while. Everyone has just kind of been average, which has allowed five teams to stay within reaching distance of the lead in the Pacific. The Golden Knights have been playing well recently, but there’s still five teams within 6 points, with the Oilers and Canucks a couple of points back of Vegas. Having said that, the Flames would still be going to the playoffs with the first wildcard in the Western Conference.
If the Flames can play as well as they did on Tuesday night in Boston, I wouldn’t want to be a high seed having to deal with them in the playoffs. When the Flames are playing up to their full potential, they can be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. They finished with 107 last season with much of the same team intact in 2019-20. No, James Neal leaving for Edmonton doesn’t count as a change to their core. The Flames couldn’t get rid of him fast enough after a failed career in Calgary. Looking at their production from last season, you would assume that Neal helped, but he didn’t play a marquee role like he did in Vegas.
The Predators are neck and neck with the Flames at the moment. They’d be in the playoffs with the second wildcard in the Western Conference. Nashville has a record of 31-23-8 and 70 points to put them down by 2 points behind the Flames. They have, however, played two fewer games than the Flames currently, so that’s a nice advantage as we go into March. The Predators aren’t a team I’d care to play in the playoffs, either. Not much of a reward for finishing first and second in the conference if the Flames and Predators are the reward for that. Head below for our free Flames vs. Predators pick.
NHL Pacific Division Odds Updates, Shifts & Value Outlooks
Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators Betting Odds:
Flames vs. Predators Prediction:
The Flames played the Bruins smart in two recent meetings against them. They didn’t get a win in the first game, but came close and had the right idea. A better night in the crease and the Flames would have had that one. They attacked the Bruins and didn’t allow the game to come to them which resulted in 3 early goals.
The defence was unable to hold, though, and they coughed up the lead and fell by a score of 4-3. Calgary did the same in their next meeting in Boston the other day, but this time the goaltending held up. The Flames emerged victorious with a 5-2 win, as Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund both found 2 goals each. It was a solid enough performance for David Rittich, as he made 26 saves on 28 shots.
Geoff Ward has his team upping the pressure on opposing defences, and it’s been working with the playmakers getting more involved in games. When that happens the offence should follow, which is exactly what has been happening for the Flames recently. They were doing too much watching instead of attacking in the past.
With the changes, the Flames have scored at least 3 goals in their previous nine tilts, along with at least 4 goals in seven of their last nine games. Calgary has recorded an average of 4.5 goals per game in their last ten outings. It does, however, include 3.2 goals against, so there has been a bit of a trade off with being more aggressive offensively.
The last time the Flames were in Nashville, they won on the Matthew Tkachuk between the legs goal in overtime. That was a snipe too, it wasn’t from in close on a deke or something. The Flames ultimately won that game, 6-5, as they completed an impressive comeback in the third period. Despite a 3-2 win for Nashville at the Saddledome a few weeks ago, the OVER has gone 3-1 in their previous four meetings and 4-2 in their previous six.
The Predators have been getting back to basics recently and playing much better in the defensive zone. However, the Flames’ red-hot offence is likely going to cause some issues. Pekka Rinne has a 3.00 GAA and 0.90 save percentage for one of the worst seasons he’s had in his career. The Flames should be able to give him issues THursday night. I don’t think this turns into a 6-5 game like their most recent meeting in Nashville, but expect to see more than 6 goals to put this contest OVER the total.