The Calgary Flames just about upset the Boston Bruins on Friday night, but they stopped playing after getting out to an early 3-1 lead. It was a crazy 1st period, with the Flames getting on the Bruins early. By the end of that frame, the Flames were looking at a tie game at 3-3, though. The Bruins went on to score 3 unanswered goals to hand the Flames a frustrating loss.
It could have been a couple of huge points for the Flames. Even a point would have been fine against a team like the Bruins, but that’s a game they allowed to get away from them. We’ve been saying that a lot with the Flames this season. Good enough to be competitive, but throwing away a lot of points because of a bad play here and there.
That’s the difference between going 50-27-7 and notching 107 points last season for 1st in the Western Conference, and struggling to get into the playoffs this season. The Flames head into the Motor City with a record of 31-25-6 and 68 points, which has them sitting on the outside of a wildcard now. Arizona earned a big win against the Tampa Bay Lightning last night with a 7-3 win. The Lightning were outplayed in Las Vegas and the same happened further south in the desert as well in Arizona.
With the win for the Coyotes, they’re 2 points up on the Flames for a wildcard. The Flames are tied with the Predators at 68 points following a 4-3 win for the Predators in a shootout. Calgary can’t afford to be blowing too many 2-goal leads at this point. If they play like they did against the Bruins in Detroit tonight, they should be alright against the Red Wings, though. The Red Wings look to win just their 16th game of the season this evening, as they hope to advance to 16-44-4 on the year.
This season can’t be done fast enough for the Red Wings, who are already looking towards the offseason and draft in the summer. They have been statistically removed from the playoffs, and will be looking to ship out players at the deadline to acquire draft picks. Things can’t get much uglier for the Red Wings, but it could once they execute a couple of trades. In any event, there’s nothing to lose, and the Flames can’t lose sight of that on Sunday at Little Caesars Arena. Head below for our free Flames vs. Red Wings pick.
Calgary Flames vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Odds:
Flames vs. Red Wings Prediction:
The promotion of Filip Zadina to the NHL provided Red Wings’ fans with something to be excited over. At least there was a reason to watch the Red Wings with Zadina on the ice. He has since been injured, though, and the Red Wings are left searching for others to step and score goals. It’s been tough sledding for the Red Wings, though. They have a goals to goals against ratio of -108, which is pretty difficult to do. That looks like an AHL team trying to compete in the NHL. To put it into perspective, there isn’t another team with a ratio at -50 or below. In other words, the Red Wings are the worst team in the league by far.
Detroit is equally terrible in the offensive and defensive zones. Overall on the season, the Red Wings are 31st in the league with 2 goals per game. The next closest team to the Red Wings is the Ducks at 2.48 goals, so there isn’t a team nearly as bad as the Wings. In their previous ten outings, the Red Wings have managed to find the back of the net only 1.6 goals a game. I’m sure there are some AHL teams that could find a way to score more goals than that. And the same could be said for their defence. That’s been just as bad and has contributed to their abysmal record.
The Red Wings are 31st in the league with 3.73 goals allowed per game. Jimmy Howard has looked lost often in the crease. They had an opportunity to deal Howard the past two years, but he’s obviously still here. The Red Wings missed the boat on getting a trade done for him. He has posted a 4.08 GAA and 0.886 save percentage in 26 games this season. Jonathan Bernier has been significantly better, but a 2.89 GAA and 0.908 save percentage still isn’t ideal for a starting goalie in the NHL. Whoever gets the nod is likely going to have a tough time versus the Flames on Sunday.
Calgary has been on fire offensively of late following no traction for much of this campaign. They’ve notched 4 goals per game in their last ten games, and 4.85 goals per game in their previous seven. The Flames scored at least 4 goals in five of those seven games. Are the Red Wings going to be able to offer much resistance against the Flames on Sunday? Maybe a little, but likely not enough to compete and win. The Flames can’t afford to lose a winnable game like this. I don’t believe they will, and this should be a 4-2 for the Flames on Sunday in Detroit.