Flames to Burn Through Visiting Blues in Wednesday Action

Dana Lane

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

The Blues have won 13 of their last 19 meetings against Calgary, but the Flames have won 12 of 15 playing on two days of rest as they are here. It's a 9:30 p.m. ET puck drop at the Saddledome on Wednesday.

 

St. Louis Blues at Calgary FlamesFree NHL Pick: Flames -115Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Calgary Flames haven’t impressed from an offensive standpoint this season, ranking just 20th in scoring, but lately they’ve showed signs that we can expect some improvement offensively when betting on Glen Gulutzan’s team. Over the last seven games Calgary has scored 17 goals, just a tick better than their season average, but last time out against the Vancouver Canucks, the Flames managed to put up six goals. Only five weeks ago against these same Blues, they they greeted Mike Yeo’s team for seven goals in a 7-4 win.

One game doesn’t make an NHL bet, for sure, but it’s not inconceivable that Calgary is bringing more confidence into this one than at any point this season. Against the Canucks, the Flames played as complete of a game as they have all season. Calgary pushed 38 shots on net, owning the shot differential by 21 (38-17). In the 3rd period it powered past Vancouver with a 19-4 shot advantage. There wasn’t one period where I felt as if Vancouver was as good as Calgary. If you go back to the Nashville loss (2-0) on Saturday, Calgary has now out-shot its opponent for four straight periods for an overall 49-26 advantage. In fact, I thought outside of the second period, Calgary was the better team against the Preds.

The Blues are one of the league’s better offensive teams, but there is recent form to suggest that we shouldn’t expect much until they can break out of their scoring funk. In their last four games, the Blues have scored just three goals while allowing 10, and that includes a 2-0 shutout of the Winnipeg Jets. Take that game out of the equation, and the Blues have been outscored 10-1 over three games.

Since the beginning of the month, St. Louis has scored 21 goals in 10 games, which ranks them 26th in that time period. Over their last five games, there isn’t one line that you can point to and say that’s the line the Blues can rely on. Outside of Vladimir Tarasenko (4 points in five games), no St. Louis forward has more than two points over the last five. Of course, injuries have been an issue for the Blues this season. You can only take so many guys out of the line-up and expect success, especially when Jake Allen has fallen into a mini-slump in goal (1-3, 2.74 GA, .902).

No word on the official goaltender matchup in this one, but in order to comfortably cash our ticket we must get a solid performance from Mike Smith. He has been about what Flames GM Brad Treliving expected after acquiring him last June, posting a 13-11-3 record to go with his 2.61 goals against average and .918 save percentage. There are signs of change in his last three starts as despite a 1-2 record, Smith has compiled a sparkling 1.99 goals against and a .922 save percentage. We’re betting on a confident Smith and improving Flames offense.

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