The Florida Panthers watched their twelve game winning streak come to an end Monday night in Vancouver. The Panthers legs just died out, as they were playing on a back-to-back on the west coast. It was a good spot for the Panthers to have a letdown spot and we took advantage of their vulnerability. They were going to lose sooner or later, I’m just glad we were able to take advantage of the end of their streak. It wasn’t easy. The Canucks were down 2-0 and stormed all the way back, getting a late goal to tie things up and finding a winner in OT. I will say one thing, those 3-on-3 overtimes can be nerve racking as games have been ending in overtime without going to a shootout at a pretty high clip this season. It is going to be interesting to see how many goals are scoring in this All-Star game, which features an all 3-on-3 matchup. I don’t think odds makers are going to know what to do with that number. That fact is going to be interesting in its own right. Tonight the Panthers look to avoid two losses in a row and start another winning streak against the Calgary Flames.
The Flames found success last season, making it to the playoffs, but then suffering a series loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Achieving a playoff berth was a win in itself considering where it looked like they were going to have a putrid season before the year began. Getting a win against the Panthers would be a nice confidence boost for the Flames, who have been trying to comeback from a slow start. I would say that yes they have been turning it around, but the fact still remains they are a below .500 team at 19-20-1. That isn’t going to cut it. The Flames will need to improve on that to make it back to the playoffs. We will see how they do against the hot Panthers. Despite being cooled down against the Canucks, the Panthers are still a team that have gone 12-1 in their last thirteen games. The defense is suffocating. Their legs hit a wall the other night playing on a back-to-back. With a night of rest, we’ll see how the Panthers follow their loss up against the Flames.
Florida Panthers vs. Calgary Flames NHL Pick
The defense for the Panthers has been playing like the best unit in the NHL. They have been playing out of their minds and it has come as a bit of a surprise how well everything has come together for them this season. Statistically they are atop of the league, allowing only 2.12 goals per game. The only team who has compared with the Panthers is the Washington Capitals, a team that has been doing just about everything right this season. I suspect that the Caps will sustain this pace, in the regular season at least, but I question if the Panthers will come out in the second half of the season and still play at the same level.
The All-Star break is almost here so we won’t have to wait too long to find out. The Panthers haven’t allowed more than 2 goals in regulation since December 20th. It appears that Roberto Luongo will be getting the start tonight, but both goaltenders have been fully capable of handling duties in net for the Panthers. Luongo didn’t get a win in his return to Vancouver, but has still has had an impressive season, netting a GAA of 2.08. The Flames are second to late, 29th in the NHL, in goals allowed this season. They have gotten better, but Karri Ramo has too many off nights. He comes in with a 2.61 GAA. I like the Panthers to get back on track in Calgary tonight with a win over the Flames.
PICK: PANTHERS TO WIN -115