After a 4-0 evening on Monday, we return Wednesday evening with hopefully another big winner. Our record on the year is now 62-45, including an impressive 31-18 with our featured selections. Tonight’s write-up involves the famed Battle of Alberta match-up, involving the red-hot Edmonton Oilers and the free-falling Calgary Flames.
Edmonton Oilers (-130) @ Calgary Flames (+110)
Frankly speaking, this line is a puzzling one. Yet again, we have a classic tale of two teams heading in polar opposite directions. The Oilers are an upstart group primed for a surprise run at the post-season. They have been playing exceptional hockey of late, and are fresh off a routing of the Flames on Monday night. Conversely, the Flames seem content on fading into obscurity for the rest of 2013. They’ve already traded team captain Jarome Iginla, as well as key defenceman Robyn Regehr and Jay Bouwmeester. This is a depleted group with virtually nothing to play for down the stretch.
It’s been a while since Edmonton was embedded within a playoff chase, but here they are. Their young room is giddy at the thought of entering the top-8 and held on to many of their assets through the NHL’s Trade Deadline. They have an abundance of young talent, and that could well propel them into playing May hockey. Winning games like this, against clearly inferior opposition, would do wonders.
Calgary has essentially stripped their roster of m uch of its talent, and simple line-up comparison shows a decisive depth advantage for Edmonton. The Oilers can easily roll three lines better than any of Calgary’s, and the way they are currently playing is quite impressive. Edmonton has won four straight contests, and really reduced the goals against of late. That will help against a Calgary team that should be hard-pressed to generate offense.
Expect a dismnal outing from a hapless Flames squad. Though they were beaten by this very same Oilers team on Monday, don’t expect much of a revenge factor. The Flames are looking forward to their summers, while Edmonton is gearing up for a pivotal stretch drive. Tonight’s game marks a huge two points on the line for Edmonton, and expect the Oilers to not let this opportunity slip through their fingers. The line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle should spearhead the Oilers attack. They’ve been red-hot, netting a combined thirteen points in their past three games. Without Regehr and Bouwmeester on the back-end, the punchless Flames simply won’t have much of a response. Take the Oilers, in a must-win scenario laying a generous price.
PICK = Edmonton (-130)