Take Well Rested Coyotes At Home As Your NHL Pick Against Flames

Swinging Johnson

Friday, February 12, 2016 3:52 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 3:52 PM UTC

The Flames travel to the desert after winning their last three and catch the Coyotes. Let’s examine the NHL odds and analyze which team is poised to cash in our NHL picks.

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NHL Pick: Arizona -121
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Calgary Flames (25-28, -1.3 units)
The Flames torched San Jose’s Alex Stalock for four first period goals and took a sizeable 4-1 lead into the second period. However the Sharks would not go quietly and took a 5-4 lead in the third period before Calgary’s Kris Russell tallied midway through the final stanza to knot the game at five. As if things couldn’t get more interesting the Flames got whistled for two minor penalties at the same time creating a 5-on-3 situation with only three minutes remaining and starting goalie Karri Ramo was injured during the curious sequence of events. Backup Jonas Hiller was summoned from the end of the bench to come in cold, down two men and facing the Sharks power play unit.

The script had been seemingly preordained and the end was nigh for the visitors. But a funny thing happened. Jonas Hiller turned from goalie to brick wall and stymied the Sharks turning aside eight shots in the final three minutes. Ultimately the Flames pocketed the two points in a shootout courtesy of the game winning shootout goal by Jiri Hudler. The Flames have now won three straight and will return home to face off against the Ducks on Monday night after their date with the Coyotes tonight.


Arizona Coyotes (24-29, +2.2 units)
When it rains it pours and right now the Coyotes are getting drenched. Arizona lost their fifth in a row via a hard luck 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night. They had a goal waved off, a hit post and a Vancouver shot that pinballed off two players that ultimately found its way across the Arizona crease. Martin Hanzal scored the lone goal (power play) against the Canucks’ Ryan Miller who was outstanding between the pipes for Vancouver. When the dust settled the Coyotes had fired 34 shots on net while the Canucks managed 26 scoring on two of those opportunities against Arizona’s Louis Dominigue. Veteran center Boyd Gordon missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury.

The Coyotes are on the outside looking into the playoff picture but are still within striking distance of claiming one of the coveted postseason spots. Statistically they are in the middle of the pack offensively but near the cellar defensively. The team is ranked 15th in scoring averaging 2.6 goals per game while their power play, ranked 17th, is connecting on 18.2 percent of their man-advantage opportunities. However, defense has been the bane of their existence allowing 3.1 goals per game (28th) and ranked 28th as well on the penalty kill extinguishing power plays at a 77.2 percent clip.


Betting Analysis
The first thing that leaps to mind when examining this matchup and trying to determine which side is worthy of inclusion in my NHL picks is the fact that the Flames played a grueling contest just last night that had to have taken a physical as well as mental toll. The Flames starting goalie is likely out of action with the injury he sustained last night thus backup Jonas Hiller is expected to get the nod in tonight’s game. In addition, Calgary has bowed in both games to the Coyotes by identical scores of 2-1 in home and away contests this season and are 3-10 in their last 13 games played in Arizona.

While it is often difficult to back a team mired in a losing streak against one that has forged recent success, I can’t help but notice we have two evenly matched teams separated by only one point in the standings while the home team is well rested with sterling results over the visitors bound for the desert. The NHL odds are slightly favoring the Coyotes here and with good reason.

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