The Calgary Flames welcome the struggling New York Islanders to the Saddledome on Thursday night. This wasn’t the most ideal time of the year for the Islanders to suddenly go cold. They are on a seven-game losing streak heading into Calgary, and have losses in 11 of their last 13 games.
The Islanders trail the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes for a wildcard in the Eastern Conference. If the NHL suspends the season and immediately starts the playoffs later without playing out the rest of the regular season, that ice cold run by the Islanders is going to keep them out. It would be a serious blow to the Islanders, who surely looked like a playoff team a few months ago.
The Islanders are still living on a ten-game winning streak, which extended to 15 wins in 16 games in November. If it wasn’t for that stretch, the Islanders would not be on the bubble right now. Rather they’d be in the toilet having made vacation plans two weeks ago. That’s not to say the Islanders didn’t compete hard in their most recent outings.
They lost in overtime against the Canucks and Canadiens, and took a loss against the Senators by a goal. Any loss against the Senators isn’t good, though at least they were able to get a point against the Canucks and Canadiens. Those two points may end up being pretty important for the Islanders, but if they continue to play this poorly, it likely isn’t going to mean much.
While the Islanders have been slipping, the Flames have won three of their previous four games. They’re coming off a 5-3 loss against the Golden Knights, but had wins versus the Panthers, Blue Jackets, and Coyotes before losing. The Flames would be in the playoffs thanks to those three wins, as they’re currently the No. 3 team in the Pacific Division with 79 points.
The Flames hold a slight advantage on the Canucks by a point. The fact that the Flames play in a division that hasn’t been great this season could get them into the playoffs. If they were playing in any other division in the league, the Flames would be sitting on the outside looking in right now. Head below for our free Islanders vs. Flames pick.
N.Y. Islanders vs. Calgary Flames Betting Odds:
Islanders vs. Flames Prediction:
The Flames have been a tough team to get a feel for this season. They’ve been hot and cold throughout the year without too much consistency. The offence really wasn’t getting anything done earlier in the season. It took them a while to finally wake up and put some pucks in the back of their opponent’s net, but that’s been happening more consistently of late. In their last ten games they’ve been on fire, with 3.6 goals scored per game and at least 3 goals scored in 15 games straight. Now that Johnny Gaudreau and company have woken up, they haven’t stopped scoring the puck.
In the other locker room, the Islanders have been crashing on the offensive end. They’ve notched only 2.5 goals per game in their previous ten outings. Their once ultra reliable defence has been failing them as well. Note that the Islanders have allowed 3.3 goals per game during that stretch. Overall in 2019-20, the Islanders have netted 2.78 goals per game. Most of their goal scoring can be found in the first-half of the season. Nothing has gelled for them since then, as they struggle with chemistry issues on the ice. The road hasn’t been particularly nice to them, either. The Islanders have recorded 2.33 goals per game on the road. With the defence allowing 2.77 goals a game, the Islanders are fortunate to have a record of 15-14-4 away from home.
Along with a losing streak of seven games in a row, the Islanders have also lost seven straight on the road. Their last win on the road was from February 10 against the Washington Capitals. The Flames aren’t an opponent that they’ve had success against recently as well. The Flames have won four of the last five meetings, with a win in their most recent contest by a score of 3-1. Frustrations continue to mount for the Islanders, and I think things could continue to get frustrating at the Saddledome on Thursday night. I like the Flames to edge out the Islanders in front of what could be an empty crowd in Calgary.