Calgary Flames (14-21-6) at Phoenix Coyotes (20-12-9)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 7, 2014, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Phoenix Coyotes -186 / Calgary Flames +169 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Flames look for their second win in as many nights as they travel from the Rockies to the desert to take on the Coyotes.
Calgary is a team in transition and has been for the past year and a half once they realized that the playoffs were out of the question and they had a ton of expiring pieces. The team dealt long time captain Jarome Iginla to the Penguins at last year’s trade deadline and have lost long time starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff to retirement forcing new general manager Brian Burke to revamp from the ground up. The Flames do have some bright spots in the form of Sean Monahan who is among the game’s best rookie this season and while they are likely to miss out on the playoffs once again they certainly have exceeded expectations this season and have played with a lot of gumption. Reto Berra is one of the goaltenders the Flames are working out and while Berra has enjoyed moderate success this season his inclusion to the Swiss national team for the Sochi Olympics has to boost his confidence. Berra will get the start tonight against Thomas Greiss for the Coyotes.
Phoenix has been on the rise over the past couple of seasons as their off ice difficulties certainly didn’t match their on ice production but they were never able to crack the Stanley Cup finals. The Coyotes are in the most competitive division in hockey this season as the Pacific boasts powerhouses from Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Vancouver and while they started off in the mix with the giants they have quickly taken a turn south. Phoenix currently sits in fifth place in the Pacific and their mini two game slide has them trailing the Canucks by five points but with a little under half of the schedule remaining there is certainly time to right the ship. The Coyotes are a funny team as they seem to win the game’s no one gives them a shot in and come up flat against some of the also rans and while there is a possibility of that here I don’t see the Flames carrying their momentum over from last night. I like the Coyotes to bounce back and deal the Flames a dose of reality.