The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames engaged in another physical battle in Game 3 and the young Calgary Flames – for a second time in the series – won the game took a series lead. Can the Flames cash on the NHL betting lines in Game 4 and go ahead 3-1?
The Vancouver Canucks Can Win Because…
They’re going to stop getting into the physical battles and will simply focus on hockey. In Game 3, the Flames dragged the Canucks into a bunch of physical nonsense that got the Canucks off their game. As a result, they lost 4-2 in a game that wasn’t really close. Looking at the numbers, the Canucks had 35 penalty minutes in the third period including 17 to Alex Burrows and seven to Kevin Bieksa. Bieksa is a solid stay-at-home defenseman, so removing him off the ice is a big loss while Burrows had 18 goals this season, so losing him hurts too. The Canucks have to skate away when the Flames start to get chippy and focus on hockey. In Game 2, when the Canucks focused on their game, they ended up winning easily. In Games 1 and 3, there has been dragged into a physical mess with Calgary and lost.
The Canucks need to fire more pucks at Jonas Hiller as they had just 25 shots in Game 2 and 14 over the last two periods. They also need to play smarter and do more with their power plays. If they can do that, they’ll win Game 4.
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The Calgary Flames Can Win Because…
They are going to continue to get under the Canucks skin. The Flames now the strategy: crash the net, play chippy, rile up the Canucks and throw them off their game. It’s already worked in two of the three games, so the formula has been established.
The Flames young guns have not been intimidated at all or shown any types of nerves, for that matter. T.J. Brodie had a goal and an assists in Game 3 while Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan each potted a goal. Playing at home fired up this Flames team and gave them the confidence they needed to earn the win. And with veteran goaltender Jonas Hiller proving to be a rock between the pipes, there is no reason to believe the Flames won’t protect their home ice in Game 4.
This has been a tit-for-tat series and I expect Game 4 to be no different. The Flames won Game 1, then the Canucks made adjustments. The Flames won Game 3 and now the Canucks will make some adjustments.
Look for them to play much smarter than in Game three and focus on the hockey side of things rather than what happens after the whistle. If the Canucks can do that, they are likely to even things up and head back to Vancouver with the series tied 2-2. With the Canucks being a road dog on the NHL betting lines in Game 4, take them with your NHL picks and expect a much more focused effort.
NHL Pick: Canucks +110 at The Greek