Calgary Flames 2020 NHL Season Preview: Odds and Predictions

Calgary Flames 101

Founded: 1972

Home Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary, AB., 19,289 capacity

Championships: Stanley Cups: 1, President’s Trophies: 2, Conference titles: 3, Division titles: 7

Owner: Calgary Sports and Entertainment

General Manager: Brad Treliving

Head Coach: Bill Peters

Team Captain: Mark Giordano

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Offense

Over the past few seasons, especially since the addition of forward Johnny Gaudreau in the 2011 draft, the Calgary Flames have been a team on the rise. They finished second-overall in the entire league last season in regular season points behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flames finished last season second-overall in the most important offensive category there is – goals scored. Last year, the Flames tallied 289 goals as a team, second, again, to only the Lightning. They had the fifth-most even strength goals and the eighth-most powerplay goals. With 2,656 shots, the Flames finished with the third-best shooting percentage in the NHL. If there was any weakness, and we’re reaching to find one here, it was on the powerplay. The lowest the Flames fell in the standings came on power play success. Calgary finished 18th in the league with only 19.27 power play percentage. But boy could they kill penalties, as the Flames finished first-overall in the league with 18 short handed goals.

The Flames have had a relatively quiet off-season, and why not? There’s little to be improved upon. The Flames traded James Neal to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Milan Lucic. Both players were in similar situations last year and neither are expected to play a major on-ice role in 2020. As of the time of writing, Calgary’s biggest obstacle is coming to terms on a new deal with restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk, who had 34 goals and 43 assists last season. He is expected to be left-wing on the second line as he was last year with Johnny Gaudreau, who scored 99 points last season, will man left-wing on the first line.

Defense

The Calgary Flames had an equally impressive defensive showing last year that culminated in top defenseman and team captain Mark Giordano winning with James Memorial trophy, which is awarded to the league’s top defenseman. The Flames finished ninth in the league for allowing the fewest goals against. They allowed the fifth-fewest even-strength goals against and but did struggle a little bit on the penalty kill, allowing 50 power play goals against – the 21st-most in the league. They were also 21st-overall in the league when it came to penalty kill percentage with 79.67 percent. However, they allowed the fewest shots against in the entire league last season.

During the offseason, even less was done defensively than there was was offensively. The top-six pairings are expected to stay the same as last season provided all players stay healthy. Those top-six are expected to be led by captain Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie as the top pairing. Giordano finished last season with 74 points while Brodie tallied 34 and was a plus-29 on the season.

Goaltending

With the departure of goaltender Mike Smith, in the crease would be the only area in which one could argue the Flames may be weak in 2020. The Flames signed netminder Cam Talbot during the offseason after his tenure with the Oilers but Talbot is expected to play second fiddle to up-and-coming starter David Rittich.

Rittich appeared in 45 games for the Flames last season and posted a 2.61 goals against average, a .911 save percentage, and a regular season record of 27-9-5. He had one shutout. Cam Talbot played only four games last season with the Philadelphia Flyers, posting a record of 1-2. He had a 3.70 goals against average and a save percentage of .881.

Projected Stars

With or without a new contract, Matthew Tkachuk is our pick to surpass his previous numbers and lead the team. He’s sure to be neck-and-neck with Johnny Gaudreau, but after his quality of play last season, expect him to get more ice time – especially on the powerplay.

Stanley Cup odds for 2020

Oddsmakers have the Calgary Flames within the top-ten favorites to win it all this year. The Flames sit with +1800 odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. Their regulation season points total O/U sits at 98.5. They are -286 to make the playoffs and +225 to miss them in 2020.

Team Total Points in the Competition – Regular Season

SportsbookOver 98.5Under 98.5Link
888Sport NJ-106-118

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Will the Calgary Flames make the NHL playoffs?

SportsbookYESNOLink
888Sport NJ-286+225

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Stanley Cup Winner – Calgary Flames Odds

SportsbookChampionship WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+1800

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