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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Colorado Avalanche will take on the Calgary Flames for the third time this season. The Avalanche shut out the Flames 3-0 in their last battle.
The Avalanche lead the NHL with 98 points and have a 14-point lead over the 2nd-place Minnesota Wild in the Central Division. They can cruise for the rest of the season and probably still be atop of their division. However, the Calgary Flames only have a seven-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division and would like to build that lead.
The Colorado Avalanche are the best team in the league and have only lost six games in regulation since the NHL returned from postponement in January. They have a squad filled with many talented veterans and a few impressive younger players.
The Avalanche are led by centers Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon, wingers Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, and defensemen Cale Makar and Devon Toews. Kadri is an impressive passer and has 55 assists, and MacKinnon also passes well and has 48 assists. Rantanen is the premier goal scorer on this team and leads the Avalanche with 33 goals, and Landeskog can do a little bit of everything and has 59 points. On the defensive side, Makar and Toews both play over 25 minutes a game and have the highest plus/minuses.
Colorado also has a top-ten goaltender in Darcy Kuemper. The Canadian netminder has 30 wins, and his three shutouts are the third-most in the league.
The Calgary Flames were out of the playoff picture for the first few months of the season. However, something changed in late January; the Flames went on a ten-game winning streak and never looked back. They have only lost six games since their winning streak ended, and three of those six losses were in overtime.
The Flames are led by wingers Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk and center Elias Lindholm. Gaudreau is one of the premier players in the NHL, and his 90 points are the third-most in the league. Tkachuk is a strong scorer and passer, and Lindholm is an efficient scorer that makes 18.5% of his shots. These three players have a combined +/- of 140.
Calgary has a workhorse of a goaltender in Jacob Markstrom. It could be argued that Markstrom is the best netminder in the NHL. He has played 51 games, has 31 wins, and his nine shutouts lead the league.
The Flames have more on the line in this game, have home-ice advantage, and are coming off a 9-5 win against the Edmonton Oilers. They will win this game in a close fashion.
Calgary Flames beat Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Colorado Avalanche cover, Under 6.5 goals.
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|Colorado Avalanche||Head-to-Head||Calgary Flames|
|Jared Bednar||Head Coach||Darryl Sutter|
|46-14-6 (1st in Central Division)||Standing||40-17-8 (1st in Pacific Division)|
|Nazem Kadri (81)||Points||Johnny Gaudreau (90)|
|Mikko Rantanen (33)||Goals||Elias Lindholm (34)|
|Nazem Kadri (55)||Assists||Johnny Gaudreau (60)|
|Devon Toews (45)||+/-||Johnny Gaudreau (49)|
|Nathan MacKinnon (4.73)||Shots (Per Game)||Johnny Gaudreau (3.25)|
The Colorado Avalanche are not the favorites in this game but can still win if they draw penalties and limit the Flames’ shots.
The Avalanche have the sixth-best power-play unit in the league. They convert on almost 25% of their power-plays and have 57 goals with a man advantage. They have to figure out how to draw penalties. If they do, they will build a lead off power-play goals.
The Flames are the surprising favorites in this matchup. However, they still have to focus on forcing the Avalanche to take low-percentage shots and slowing down Nazam Kadri.
The Avalanche shoot the puck a lot. They average 35.2 shots per game and 3.79 goals. It is tough to limit their shooting, so the Flames should try to force the Avalanche to take low-percentage shots instead.
Nazem Kadri may be 31, but he is showing no signs of slowing down. He is an elite passer and playmaker, evidenced by his 55 assists. The Flames need to slow him down and cut off his passing lanes. If they do, they will limit the Avalanche’s scoring.
Cale Makar is a top defenseman in the NHL. He has 24 goals, 49 assists, and a TOI of 25:29. While those are all impressive statistics, he has one more impressive stat: his +/-.
Makar has a +/- of 38. It is not the highest on the Avalanche, but it is quite high. Makar makes a positive impact on his team and makes his teammates better. That is why he is the Avalanche’s key player.
Makar needs to continue looking for his teammates and setting them up with the right passes. He can score a little bit, but is more productive when he looks for his teammates.
This was an easy choice; winger Johnny Gaudreau is an electric player and one of the best in the league. He has 30 goals, 60 assists, and a +/- of 49.
Makar can do it all on the ice and commands so much attention from opposing teams. He is able to create opportunities for his teammates when he draws in opposing defensemen.
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|Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames Information|
|What||Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames|
|Where||Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta|
|When||Tuesday, March 29, 9:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||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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