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Canadiens vs Flames Betting Preview: “New” Flames Edge the Canadiens Again | Mar. 13

Reinvigorated Calgary To Make It Two Straight Versus Montreal

Montreal and Calgary meet for the fourth time this Saturday in a battle between two evenly matched teams. The BetUS online sportsbook sees it as a pick’em although Calgary holds a 2-1 edge and most recently edge Montreal.

I like the Flames in this matchup. They’ve been disappointing both on the ice and on the NHL betting lines, but at reasonable odds like these, they’re at decent value. New coach Darryll Sutter is a two-time Stanley Cup champion for a reason and he’ll instill some of that winning philosophy to this once-floundering team.

Milan Lucic #17 of Calgary fights Josh Anderson #17 of Montreal. Check out their next matchup in our Canadiens vs Flames betting preview
Derek Leung/Getty Images/AFP

Canadiens vs Flames Betting Preview

Canadiens: Bad Breaks

It’s been tough to get a good read on Montreal. We have a team that started the season 9-4-2 and was challenging for the division title. Now we have a team that is 3-3-5, fired a pair of its coaches, and can’t string together wins.

To the Habs’ credit, they have all the makings of a true contender. They’re ranked in the top-ten in the NHL in both goals scored and goals allowed. Carey Price is finally beginning to play like his old self with a 96.3 save percent in his last four games helping the Habs 3-0-1 during this span.

Most importantly, Montreal still has the best corsi for percent (CF%) in the NHL division, meaning they’re generally outshooting their opponents. They’re also among the best in finishing their scoring chances, most of which they have an advantage during 5-on-5.

Statistically, the Habs should have a better record. They’re the worst team in extra time losing all seven of them. Getting additional scorers outside of C Tyler Toffoli, RW Brendan Gallagher, and D Jeff Petry could help them get over the hump.

Flames: Inconsistent But Promising

Speaking of franchises that are tough to read, the Flames have that in spades. Ever since 2006, the Flames have been a rollercoaster. They’ll make a promising run or two then sandwich it with disappointing seasons.

On paper, the Flames have the makeup of a Stanley Cup contender. They have potent goalscorers like LW Johnny Gaudreau, a legitimate blueline, and finally, a goaltender that can help seal games for them in Jacob Markstrom.

But the goal-scoring has been coming and going, the defense is average, and the goaltending has been as much a problem as a solution. Markstrom has an 86.7 save percent in his last six games (2-3-1) and has allowed three or more goals in five.

New bench boss Darryl Sutter hopes to light a fire under this underachieving squad. It’s been a good start so far with their win over Montreal. But this team’s penchant for inconsistency keeps me from getting too excited.

Montreal Canadiens vs Calgary Flames Betting Pick

It was a rare occurrence, but the Flames showed their true potential in shutting out the Habs. Sutter had the Flames playing to peak defensive prowess by limiting Montreal to a season-low 18 shots on goal.

I like where both teams are headed. Montreal has gotten a few bad breaks, but with both goaltenders playing well and the potential for big scoring, they should snap out of the funk at some point.

Calgary will make it harder for Montreal again. Sutter was able to instill more of a structure to the team as the Flames slowed down the tempo, focused on controlling the puck, and limiting their mistakes en route to a 2-1 win.

Who’d have thunk it, but the “old school” approach still works in today’s NHL. The Flames still have plenty of unanswered issues, but they’ll at least play harder and smarter with a new voice in the locker room.

Pick: Calgary Flames to win


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