Flames to Torch Slow-Starting Blues in Calgary

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Dana Lane

Monday, November 13, 2017 6:18 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 6:18 PM GMT

The Calgary Flames are looking to cap off their successful home stand with a victory over the St. Louis Blues at Scotiabank Saddledome. The puck drops at 9 p.m. ET.

Free NHL Pick: Flames +100Best Line Offered: Sports Interaction 

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St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames

The St. Louis Blues are starting a three game road trip Monday, while the Calgary Flames are ending their seven-game run at home in hopes of improving on their 4-2 record.

The Blues are still stinging from a 5-2 loss to the Islanders on Saturday in what should have been a game the Blues won on their home ice and perhaps would have if it hadn’t been for the below-average play of Jake Allen, who gave up four goals in just over 23 minutes of work. As of now the Blues haven’t confirmed their net-minder for tonight whether it's Allen or Carter Hutton, but I’m on Calgary with Mike Smith.

That’s not an opinion shared by the general public right now with over 60% of all bets taken coming in on the Blues according to the SBR odds page. This has driven the opening number form Calgary -120 to even money at Sports Interaction. Barring anything internal I’m guessing that Blues head coach Mike Yeo goes right back to Allen.

There is a trend forming with the Blues that doesn’t sit well when handicapping this game, and that’s the Blues' propensity for giving up early goals. In four of their last five games St. Louis has given up the first goal and has allowed those teams to extend the lead before the Blues wake up. This isn’t a trend that allows me to back them financially, especially when they’re facing a pretty good defensive team in the Flames.

Against the Islanders we witnessed the Blues' top line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko disappear and really didn’t look good doing it, leaving me to wonder if this is going to be a trend. One thing we know about wagering is that the good handicappers spot a trend before others know it’s happening. The problem is when this group isn’t producing I can’t rely on their other lines to pick up the slack. In 110 minutes of ice time against the Islanders, Vladimir Sobotka, Paul Stastny and Alexander Steen ended up with a -3 combined. Their third line ended up even. The balance isn’t there.

This is a revenge spot for the Flames, who were beaten 5-2 in their 1st meeting, but that game was with Jaromir Jagr in the lineup. It also would be fair to say that the Flames looked like the better team despite the final score. The analytics will tell you that Calgary dominated the first period and if the Blues are having issues getting off to good starts, this may be the key area that allows us to cash this winner.

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