Image for Max Heering Max Heering - January 18, 2023

Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames: Avalanche Try to Fight for Wild Spot Against Flames

  • The Colorado Avalanche are 2-2-1 in their last five games.

  • The Calgary Flames are 2-1-2 in their last five games.

  • The Flames beat the Avalanche 5-3 in their first meeting.

Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames Odds

Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Team

Spread

Total

Colorado Avalanche

+1.5

BET HERE

O 6

BET HERE

Calgary Flames

-1.5

BET HERE

U 6

BET HERE

Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames Predictions and Picks

Avalanche vs Flames Predictions

Head-to-Head: Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames

Colorado Avalanche

Head-to-Head

Calgary Flames

Jared Bednar

Head Coach

Darryl Sutter

22-17-3 (4th in Central Division)

Standing

21-15-9 (4th in Pacific Division)


Leaders 


Mikko Rantanen (53)

Points

Elia Lindholm (40)

Mikko Rantanen (29)

Goals

Nazem Kadri (17)

Nathan MacKinnon (34)

Assists

Elias Lindholm (26)

Nathan MacKinnon (15)

+/-

Nikita Zadorov (11)

Nathan MacKinnon (5.35)

Shots (Per Game)

Mikael Backlund (3.18)

Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames Predictions and Picks

The Colorado Avalanche will take on the Calgary Flames for the second time this season. These teams faced each other early in the season, and Calgary crushed Colorado 5-3. The Flames had a 5-1 lead early in the third period, and the Avalanche could not mount a comeback.

The Avalanche are on the outside of the Playoff picture looking in. Colorado has 45 points and is six points away from the Second Wild Card. With that being said, they have played a few less games than most other teams and could be in a Wild Card spot in a week or so. On the other side, the Flames are in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with 51 points. A win today would keep them in that spot, but a loss could push them to the second Wild Card spot.

The Avalanche might be coming off a Stanley Cup hangover. They have many of the same players as last season but are struggling to win games the way they did last year. They average just over three goals a game, and their defense allows a little over 2.8 goals. With that being said, they have two goaltenders (Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz) with high ceilings. Neither of them are performing to their potential, but they are pretty close.

The Avalanche’s offense has been a little slower this year but has some impressive players in Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Cale Makar. These players have different skill sets but are all menaces on the ice. They each have at least 43 points, 24 assists, and 13 goals.

Alexander Georgiev has maintained the Avalanche’s top goaltending spot this season. He is not dominant, but his 16 wins are the tenth-most in the NHL.

This Flames squad is not particularly impressive. They have a few older (and former stars) in Elias Lindholm, Nazem Kadri, and Jonathan Huberdeau, but their offense is nothing special. They score just over three goals a game, and defensively, they allow almost that amount. In addition, their goaltending does not stand out. Calgary does not have the worst goaltenders in the NHL, but they are mediocre and could be better.

The Flames do not have any players as impressive as Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon but have some solid players in Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, and Nazem Kadri. These three have at least 35 points, 18 assists, and 14 goals.

Jacob Markstrom is a workhorse in net for the Flames. He has played in 31 games and has a 13-11-5 record. Even though he is the Flames’ starter, he is not performing exceptionally well.  Markstrom has a save percentage of .894 and will need to improve as the season progresses.

These teams are very evenly matched, but I will give the edge to the Flames. Calgary performs significantly better at home, which should be enough to give them the victory.

Why Might the Colorado Avalanche Win?

The Avalanche are the underdogs but will win if they draw penalties and have strong goaltending.

The Avalanche have a decent power play unit and convert almost 24% of their penalties. This is not the most impressive power play unit, but it is an impressive one and one that has scored twice in the previous two games. This unit needs to get on the ice and be given opportunities to score.

The Avalanche have solid goaltenders, but they face almost 32 shots and are going against a Flames’ squad that averages 35 shots a game. Whoever is in net for the Avalanche must be a dominant force, or Colorado will be in for a long night.

Why Might the Calgary Flames Win?

The Flames are the favorites but are only going to win if they slow down Mikko Rantanen and look for second-chance shots.

Mikko Rantanen is the premier scorer on the Avalanche and leads the team with 29 goals. Rantanen failed to score in his previous game but scored twice in the game before that. The veteran is likely due to score today, so the Flames need to be aware of him at all times and slow him down.

The Flames shoot a lot but score less than 9% of the time. Since they are not scoring efficiently, they should swarm the net and look for second-chance shots.

Avalanche Key Players: (C) Nathan MacKinnon 

Nathan MacKinnon has only played 31 games this season but has an impressive 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists). He also scored two goals in his previous game.

MacKinnon needs to keep playing at an incredibly high level and take the momentum from his last game.

Flames Key Player: (D) Rasmus Andersson

Rasmus Andersson is highly depended on and plays over 24 minutes a game. He does not score much, but he has 23 assists and leads the Flames in +/0 at 11. Andersson will have his hands full with Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon tonight and must lock them down.

How to Watch Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames

  • What - Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames

  • Where - Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

  • When - Wednesday, January 18, 9:30 PM EST

  • How to Watch - TNT

Image for Max Heering

AUTHOR

Max Heering

222 Articles

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]

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