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Added March 3rd, 2010 by David Glisan

NHL Hockey Betting Free Picks For Wednesday: Flame Out

NHL hockey betting is getting back into full swing after the Winter Olympics, and we’ll take a look at a Western Conference battle between the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild.  Interestingly, the starting goaltenders for these teams–Mikka Kiprusoff of the Flames and Niklas Backstrom of the Wild–were teammates on Finland’s Olympic hockey team.  The Flames began this season with high hopes but have slumped badly since the beginning of the year, while the Wild have been mired in season long mediocrity.


The Flames have slipped out of the playoff hunt heading into the NHL stretch run, and are barely above .500 at home with a record of 15-14-3.  Their big problem has been scoring goals–they rank 26th in the NHL in goals per game.  Their defense has remained solid and they’re 4th in the league in goals against per game.  Of course you can’t win if you don’t score and that tells you just about everything you need to know regarding what’s wrong with Calgary.

Minnesota’s offense is definitely better than Calgary’s–the Wild rank 11th in the NHL at goals for per game, but their struggles have been on the defensive end.  They’re 21st in the league in goals against per game.  Still, with Calgary’s struggles its impossible to back the Flames at home as -150 favorites.  All things considered, this is a fairly even matchup–both teams have 30 wins, with the only difference being the fact that Calgary has more OT and shootout losses than the Wild.  Some concern about Minnesota’s anemic road play (9-19-2 away from home) but until they demonstrate otherwise Calgary is a go-against in most situations.  The Flames have won only 5 of their last 20 games, while Minnesota has played well within their own division posting an 11-5 record this year.  They’ve played the Flames twice already this season and won both games.  We’ll take them as road dogs and look for Calgary’s struggles to continue.


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