The Anaheim Ducks remind me of the Atlanta Braves. There's nothing spectacular about their numbers, but at 91 points, all they do is win games as they sit atop of the Western Conference Pacific Divsion. The Ducks face a Calgary Flames team that are desperate to win every game .A win or a loss can decide them making the playoffs. See who we like as our betting pick in this Pacific Division encounter.
Ice-time is set for 9:30 pm ET tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Ducks get the respect from the odds makers as they are a -140 betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 5.5 goals on the NHL odds. The question is are the Ducks a good fade in this spot as the odds are too high?
While there's no confirmation with Frederik Anderesen in net for the Ducks, we do have confirmation that Karri Ramo will get the start for the Flames. While Ramo is coming off of a 5-4 loss in overtime to Ottawa, he's played rather well as of late with a 12-7 record this season and a 2.56 GAA. If Andersen gets the start for Anaheim, the Ducks will have the advantage at goalie, but this is a Calgary team that averages 2.8 goals per game (9th in the NHL) and Ramo is capable of providing a good start.
Lighting the Lamp
This is a game in which I can see winger Corey Perry playing well. Perry has 28 goals and 18 assists in just 53 games this season. He has also faired well against the Flames with 1 goal and 3 assists in 4 games. Perry has only had one point in his last 4 games, but Ramo is the panacea and look for Perry to unleash in a perfect situation. He doesn't stay cold for long.
Along with Perry, leading scorer, Ryan Getzlaf, will get plenty of offensive opportunities in this game. Getzlaf will be looking to break his 4 game scoreless streak as this is a team that he's owned in the past .
In 4 games against the Flames, Getzlaf has 2 goals and 1 assist. While the numbers don't look great lately for the 2 best players on the Ducks roster, that can change quickly and with Andersen (30-10-5) in net, the Ducks are capable of beating any team with just a great defensive performance. As I stated earlier, the Ducks don't have eye-popping numbers, but points are all that matters and they know how to accrue them.
One of Calgary's strengths is their depth on offense as they possess 5 players with 40 points or more. Centerman, Sean Monahan, would be one of the players that I would be looking at in this game. He's the Flames leading goal-getter (24) and has played exceptionally well as of late. In his last 4 games, Monahan has 3 goals and 2 assists. He's also played well against Anaheim, potting 2 goals and dishing out an assist in 4 games. This is a 1st round draft pick in 2013 and he's only going to get better.
Veteran Jiri Hudler has been on a tear as of late. Along with leading the Flames in points this season, Hudler has had multiple point games in his last 4 games (4 goals, 4 assists). He's a great leader to have on this squad as he makes other players better and facing the Ducks will be a challenge. Hudler is playing at peak performance at the right time and Calgary really needs a victory at home in this game.
I'm not sold on Ramo in goal, but the key players in the Anaheim offense have been ice cold as of late. Calgary is a good team, but the Western Conference is simply competitive. Look for the Flames to pull off the upset with your NHL picks .
NHL Pick- Calgary +120 at 5Dimes