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Calgary Flames vs St. Louis Blues prediction 10-26-23 NHL Picks

Calgary Flames (2-4-1) vs St. Louis Blues (2-2-1)
2023-10-26 21:00:00 EDT
The Line: Betting Odds: Calgary Flames -185 / St. Louis Blues +148 --- Over/Under: 6
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As the NHL season enters its third full week, the St. Louis Blues (2-2-1, 7th in Central Division) and host Calgary Flames (2-4-1, 4th in Pacific Division) are looking to bounce back from disappointing results. With the Blues recently falling 4-2 to the Winnipeg Jets and the Flames nursing a 3-1 defeat against the New York Rangers, this clash will leave one on an up note and continue disappointment for the other. 

Blues Hunting Redemption

The St. Louis Blues have issues that need attention early in the season. The offense is gasping for breath, ranking 30th in the league in goals scored. Brandon Saad, with two goals, has shown glimpses of his capabilities, but one man can’t drive an entire offensive unit. Robert Thomas is the current point leader for the team with one goal and three assists, but the Blues need more production from other lines to become a true threat.

On the defensive side, Jordan Binnington has been the standout, posting a 1.69 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. However, even a goaltender of his caliber can’t single-handedly carry a team to victory. It’s the skaters that need to step up. The Blues have been below average on the penalty kill, with a 71.4% success rate. While Binnington has been a saving grace, the Blues are trending in a direction that puts tremendous pressure on Binnington to perform night in and night out. 

Looking at the trends, the Blues have also shown discipline issues, leading the league in penalty minutes. This is a red flag when their penalty kill hasn’t been up to the mark. The Blues have a road game against the Flames, and their performance away from home ice could be a significant factor. Road games often expose weaknesses, and for a Blues squad that has been inconsistent, this game could be a tough test. The Flames have a strong penalty kill, so discipline will be crucial for the Blues to avoid giving up easy scoring opportunities.

St. Louis Blues Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won five of the Blues’ last six games at Scotiabank Saddledome.
  • The Blues have covered the puck line in each of their last seven games against the Flames following a road loss.
  • The Blues have won the third period in each of their last four games against the Flames following a road loss.
  • The ‘Over 1.5 Goals Period 3′ market has hit in 18 of the Blues’ last 19 games against Pacific Division opponents.

Flames Flickering, Not Shining

The Calgary Flames are 2-4-1 which is not reflective of the talent on the roster. Andrew Mangiapane has been the standout player, leading the team in both goals and points. However, the Flames need more contributors if they’re going to turn their season around. The power play percentage stands at 12.5%, a number that needs improvement. Elias Lindholm, the team’s assist leader, needs to find more frequent connections with goal scorers like Mangiapane to boost that number.

Defensively, the Flames have their woes. A team goals-against average of 3.57 is a glaring issue that needs improvement. Jacob Markstrom’s stats, while not terrible, indicate that he’s not been the last line of defense that the Flames need. Markstrom’s 2.81 GAA and .897 save percentage are far from elite numbers. The penalty kill percentage is a big plus, standing at a strong 88.9%.

Trends indicate that the Flames have been a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to discipline, ranking 20th in penalty minutes. However, their shaky defense and goaltending put a question mark on the Flames ability to score enough. They have home-ice advantage in this matchup, but Calgary’s form doesn’t inspire much confidence in an ability to capitalize on it. The Flames need to address defensive issues and get more offensive contributions to make the most of home-ice.

Calgary Flames Team Facts

  • The Flames have lost seven of their last eight games as home favorites against Central Division opponents.
  • The Flames have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last six games.
  • The ‘Over 1.5 Goals Period 3′ market has hit in each of the Flames’ last seven games against Western Conference opponents.
  • The Flames have lost the first period in seven of their last eight games against Western Conference opponents.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Calgary Flames ranks T6th in the league in penalty kill percentage this season (88.89%).
  • The Calgary Flames ranks 26th in the league for goals per game this season (2.43).
  • The St. Louis Blues ranks T29th in the league for goals per game this season (2.00).
  • The St. Louis Blues ranks T29th in the league in power play percentage this season (6.67%).

David’s Pick – St. Louis Blues (+148)

Both teams have their deficiencies, but if it’s a question of who can rise to the occasion, my money’s on the St. Louis Blues. Despite their recent loss, they have a goaltender in Jordan Binnington who has been nothing short of remarkable. While the Flames’ penalty kill is strong, their goals-against numbers and the inconsistent form of goalie Jacob Markstrom tip the scale in favor of the Blues. I expect the Blues to take advantage of Calgary’s weak spots, especially given their higher-ranked goals-against stats. Calgary’s home-ice advantage might not be enough to stop a Blues team eager to prove themselves. Look for Binnington to shine once again in the crease for St Louis. Take the Blues to get back in the win column in this one.

Bill D's Free Pick: St. Louis Blues (+148)

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