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The Calgary Flames are 3-1-1 in their last five games.
The St. Louis Blues have won three of their last five games.
The Blues beat the Flames 5-2 when they first faced each other.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
St. Louis Blues
19-14-8 (4th in Pacific Division)
20-18-3 (4th in Central Division)
Elias Lindholm (37)
Jordan Kyrou (38)
Nazem Kadri (16)
Jordan Kyrou (19)
Elias Lindholm (24)
Robert Thomas (27)
Nikita Zadorov (10)
Calle Rosen (11)
Nazem Kadri (3.27)
Shots (Per Game)
Jordan Kyrou (3.32)
The Calgary Flames will travel south to face the St. Louis Blues for the second time this season. The Blues crushed the Flames 5-2 in their first matchup this season. The Flames are in the first Wild Card spot with 46 points but could fall out of the Playoff picture with a loss in regulation and an Oilers and Predators victory. Conversely, the Blues are two points out of the second Wild Card spot. They could take it with a win and an Oiler loss.
The Flames have an average team and could use some work. Their offense and defense are mediocre, and their goaltending needs much improvement. I expect them to make the Playoffs in one of the Wild Card spots, but it is unlikely they will get out of the first round.
This Flames’ teams lack stars but has some solid veterans. Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, and Nazem Kadri lead this squad and are their top goal-scorers. Each player has at least 13 goals, 15 assists, and 31 points. With that being said, the Flames need one other player to step up and improve this offense.
Jacob Markstrom is the top netminder in Calgary. Markstrom, a 32-year-old veteran, has a 13-10-4 record, but his .894 save percentage is out of the top 30. The Swedish goaltender has the potential to play better and must if he wants Calgary to make a run.
The Blues have a worse squad than the Flames. Offensively, they are a little above average, but defensively, they have one of the worst teams in the NHL. In addition, St. Louis has one of the worst (if not the worst) goaltending duos in the NHL. I expect St. Louis to stay in the Playoff race for most of the season but miss the playoffs.
The Blues also do not have any stars, but some solid players in Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Pavel Buchnevich. These three have combined for 42 goals and 109 points through 41 games.
Jordan Binnington is the #1 netminder on the Blues. Bennington is struggling this year and allowing a whopping 3.27 goals per game. If the Blues want any chance at a Stanley Cup, they have to trade for a better netminder.
This game will be close, but I will give the edge to the Flames. Their team is a little more well-rounded and facing a Blues’ squad that performs better on the road than at home.
The Flames are the underdogs but would probably be the favorites if they were playing at home. Regardless, they can win this game if they score first and play tough defense.
The Flames are at an inherent disadvantage because they are on the road, but can push things more in their favor by scoring first. If they score first, they will put the Blues on the ropes and make them feel like they have to tie the game as soon as possible. In addition, the team that scores first usually wins.
The Flames have a top-half defense and allow less than three goals a game. However, they are facing a Blues squad that averages over three goals a game. Since that is the case, the Flames must play menacing defense and limit the Blues' shots.
The Blues are the favorites and will win if they draw penalties and pass to Jordan Kyrou.
The Blues have one of the better power-play units in the NHL and convert over 24% of their opportunities. This unit was also productive in their previous game and scored the Blues’ opening goal. They need to do the same thing today. However, they also need to get on the ice. St. Louis must draw penalties to give their power play unit a chance.
Jordan Kyrou is the most talented player on the Blues. The 24-year-old has 19 goals and 19 assists and is simply dangerous with the puck. His teammates must give him the puck and set him up with scoring opportunities.
Elias Lindholm is an excellent player and an efficient shooter. The center only has 13 goals but converts over 14% of his opportunities. Lindholm also has a team-leading 24 assists.
Lindholm does not need to change much heading into this game. As long as he takes smart shots and makes the right pass, he should be in good shape.
Brandon Saad is not having a particularly impressive season. The winger has played in 34 games and has 13 goals and five assists. However, Saad played up to his potential in the Blues’ previous game and finished with one goal and one assist. I do not expect the veteran to perform that well every game, but he can this game. Saad needs to take that momentum and try to replicate his previous performance.
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What - Calgary Flames vs St. Louis Blues
Where - Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri
When - Tuesday, January 10, 8:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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