Calgary had an incredible comeback in Game 6 to send the Canucks packing. Now things turned up a notch as they visit the top-seeded Ducks. Can they survive on the Duck Pond & cash on the NHL odds?
The Calgary Flames Can Win Because…
They’re playing with the house’s money. Calgary wasn’t even supposed to make the playoffs, let alone win a round. This is a young team that’s learning on the job but gaining confidence by the day. As a result, they have played loose and relaxed, and done everything they needed to do to get to Round 2.
The Flames offense continues to play well as they averaged 2.89 goals per game in the regular season, which ranked them sixth in the NHL, and have kicked it up a notch in the playoffs. They scored 18 goals in Round 1, which boils down to a 3.00 goals per game average.
While the Ducks do have a sizable home-ice advantage in this series, keep in mind that while they played well at home this season, they escaped a lot of games by the narrowest of margins. They scored 2.73 goals per game at home and allowed 2.63. That means Calgary has an opening here and if they can steal at least one game, they should be able to make this series quite interesting.
The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
They’re a much better team. And while previous versions of Anaheim were good too and didn’t go far in the playoffs, this teams seems like they are much better built for postseason success. They showed exactly that in Round 1: they can play with a lead, they can play from behind, they can win high-scoring games and they can grind out low-scoring ones too. And that came both at home and on the road.
The Ducks scored a total of 16 goals in Round 1 against the Jets (in four games) and there’s a good chance they approach that average in Round 2. The Flames are unsettled in net, alternating between Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo. Hiller has been a disappointment in previous playoffs, which is why the Ducks got rid of him, and Ramo is unproven. The Ducks have an explosive offense with elite forwards like Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, they have depth and it’s going to hurt that the Flames are without their captain and best defensive player, Mark Giordano.
And most importantly, Anaheim has home-ice advantage on the NHL betting odds board. They have won 20 straight regular season meetings between the teams on the Duck Pond. That’s an incredible stat and one that will be hard to overcome for the Flames. That’s why the Ducks are the better choice for your NHL picks.
The Flames are thrilled that they got by the Canucks in Round 1 but they celebrated that wing like was a Stanley Cup victory. Meanwhile, Anaheim is more season and experienced, and they have much bigger plans. That being the case, expect the Ducks to advance in this series. Calgary had an easy matchup in Round 1 against Vancouver but this one will be much harder. Anaheim will move on to the conference finals.
NHL Pick: Ducks in 6 at Bovada