Free NHL Picks: New Additions To Flames Roster Prompts 'Over' Play For Calgary's Season Wins

Calgary Flames

Dana Lane

Thursday, October 6, 2016 3:00 PM GMT

The Flames glaring weakness last season was clearly between the pipes. Which is why GM Brad Treliving went out and got 'Elite' goaltender Brian Elliot from the Blues, but is he the missing piece to Glen Gulutzan's team?

 

Projected Win Total: 39.5 -118 over/ -118 under (SportsInteraction)
Last Season: 35-40-7 77pts
Standings: Pacific Division: 5th / League: 25th (Missed playoffs by 10 points)
Team Notes: Brian Elliot played in 42 games last season but in order for the Flames to find the success he needs to get into the 60's?
2016-17 Stanley Cup Odds: Highest: +5000 at Numerous Books  Lowest: +4950 at WagerWeb
Key Statistic: Allowed 257 goals last season (30th)

 

Elliot (23-8-6, .930, 2.07) proved that he could carry a team on his shoulders last season while crease partner Jake Allen was battling injuries. Unfortunately, Elliot isn't any stranger to injuries himself which brings up the question, will Elliot stay healthy? Not since 2010 has he appeared in more than 46 games which won't be enough to launch the Flames into the postseason. When deciding on which NHL pick to put your money on don't just automatically think, with the addition Elliot, that the Flames can certainly win five more games. He will not have the same supporting cast that he had in St. Louis although I do think Chad Johnson (22-16-4, 2.36GAA, .920%) is a solid backup.

Just to be clear I am going to take the 'over' 39.5, the total across the board, but it's because I'm a big believer in new Head Coach Glen Gulutzan who, here in Las Vegas, we watched first hand over six seasons. Gulutzan coached the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL) from 2003-2008 and never once did I watch his teams take a night off.  His record was a sparkling 254-124-53 with Las Vegas, earning 106 points or more in three of those seasons. From there he was hired as the Head Coach of the Texas Stars (AHL) and promptly took them to the Calder Cup Finals in his 1st year.  The man is a winner with a style that is a huge contrast from Bob Hartley who seemed to always be struggling to earn his team's respect.

On the negative side, Flames star, Johnny Gaudreau and the team have not have had any discussions about a new contract. Gaudreau is seeking a deal that would pay him in the $8 million per range while Treliving is willing to move slightly in the 7's. Gaudreau has not requested a trade but wants negotiations to start soon.

 

Scoring wasn't a problem for the Flames in 2015-16 so now you couple that with a world class goaltender in the back of a pretty good group of defensemen, I think the Flames will barely make the playoffs in 2017 while jumping over 39.5 wins.

 

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