Who doesn’t love a jam-packed hockey Tuesday with an abundant amount of entertaining action? In this edition, the Florida Panthers will put their slumping ways to the test as they battle it out with the Calgary Flames. You know what time it is! Let’s take a look at our NHL odds series where our Panthers-Flames prediction and pick will be made.
It certainly hasn’t been the ideal start for a Panthers bunch that erupted for 58 wins and boasted the top seed in the Eastern Conference a year ago, as Florida enters play with a 10-8-4 record that includes an extremely pedestrian 4-6-1 road mark. Not to mention, the Panthers have been trending in the wrong direction of late with only one victory in their previous six games. Can Florida reverse this trend and begin getting on track before it is too late?
As it stands for the Flames at the moment, they also have endured a fair amount of struggles that have resulted in a measly 9-9-e record through the team’s first 21 games. Similarly to the Panthers, the Flames entered this season with some lofty expectations after racking up a 50-21-11 record. Will the Flames’ home crowd give the team enough energy out on the ice to get the job done later this evening?
Here are the Panthers-Flames NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Panthers-Flames Odds
Florida Panthers: +1.5 (-192)
Calgary Flames: -1.5 (+154)
Over: 6.5 (-110)
Under: 6.5 (-110)
Why The Panthers Could Cover The Spread
Without a doubt, the Panthers’ first 22 games played have been rather discouraging to say the least, but fear not Panthers fans and fellow bettors, for there are reasons why Florida can string together a solid 60 minutes of hockey en route to covering the spread.
To begin, it will be extremely vital for Florida to get the puck into their best players’ sticks. No question, all eyes of the hockey world will be watching closely to see how former Flames star Matthew Tkachuk performs in his return to Calgary for the first time since being dealt to the Sunshine State in a blockbuster trade during the offseason. So far, the Panthers have seemed to have won the trade at the moment as Tkachuk has tallied five multi-point performances in his past seven games. Implementing a strategic game around one of the best skaters on the roster in Tkachuk will open up the offense as a whole and also create a surplus of scoring opportunities.
Of course, when glancing upon Florida’s overall statistics, one of the lone bright spots on this roster has been their ability to score at will with 3.41 goals per game. However, the same can’t really be said about preventing teams from scoring themselves. For obvious reasons, the Panthers will have to find a way to keep the puck out of their own zone and instead force a ton of pressure in the Flames’ zone. Even though the goaltending has been inconsistent, to say the least, there is definitely potential with goalie Spencer Knight, who is still only 21 years old. Clearly, Knight will be tested and must pass with flying colors to give the Flames absolutely no hope.
Why The Flames Could Cover The Spread
Even though Calgary lost out on some of their playmakers from last year’s roster by packing up their bags and leaving for other teams, this is still a talented enough roster to at least be above .500 at this point of the season. However, that has not been the case so far for Calgary. While the struggles might be as real as ever, the good news is that there is still a bunch of games to be played. Not only that, but all it takes is one well-played game to secure some much-needed confidence to start heading in the right direction.
Fortunately, this inter-conference matchup with a scuffling Florida team will serve as the first of a five-game home stand for Calgary which comes at the perfect time. So far, the Flames have recorded a respectable 6-4-1 record on their home ice and are looking to get any type of advantage that they can get.
One of the more main concerns of this team moving forward has been the shaky goaltending which has resulted in Calgary’s less than stellar. With an .889 save percentage and also surrendering more than three goals per contest, the excuses are starting to run out for goalie Jacob Markstrom. Simply put, Markstrom needs to figure it out and improve greatly if he wants to remain in net for the Flames. In fact, the 32-year-old Swedish net-minder has not allowed less than three goals in a game since Nov. 12th, and continuing on his path of less-than-average play against the Panthers will put a lot of unwanted pressure on Calgary’s offense to score as much as possible.
Final Panthers-Flames Prediction & Pick
At first glance, each of these teams haven’t had any trouble finding ways to score, but instead stopping the opposition from scoring. At the end of the day, bettors should feel more comfortable in putting their money on the Panthers covering a +1.5 goal-spread rather than the Flames’ ability to win this one by multiple goals.
Final Panthers-Flames Prediction & Pick: Panthers +1.5 (-192)