St. Louis Blues vs. Calgary Flames Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Getting their final regular season head-to-head meeting out of the way early in the year, the St. Louis Blues and the Calgary Flames clash at the Scotiabank Saddledome in a Western Conference showdown. The match will get started at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 20, and it’s being televised live on Sportsnet 360.

St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames Odds

Calgary (-120) is currently favored over St. Louis (+100), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over).

St. Louis is 22-13 straight up (SU) and has earned 4.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 35 regular season outings, 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Blues team is 10-6 SU on the road.

St. Louis has converted on just 16.5 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s ranked 25th in the NHL. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 20th in the league, and the teams successfully killed off 80.4 percent of all penalties.

St. Louis, as a collective unit, has been sent to the penalty box just 3.5 times per game overall during the 2017-18 season, 3.6 per game over its past five contests total, and 3.2 per game over its last five games as the visiting team. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 6.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 25.4 saves per game with a .911 save percentage, Jake Allen (17-12-2) has been the primary option in goal for St. Louis this year. If St. Louis chooses to rest him, however, they could roll with Carter Hutton (6-3), who has a .949 save percentage and 1.63 goals against average this year.

The visiting Blues have relied on Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko this year. Schenn (38 points) is up to 16 goals and 22 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 10 different games. Tarasenko has 15 goals and 20 assists to his credit, and has registered a point in 21 games.

On the other bench, Calgary is 17-17 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 34 regular season matches, 17 of its games have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just one has pushed. This year, the team is 8-10 SU at home.

Calgary has converted on 17.6 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.5 percent of all opponent power plays.

Calgary players have been sent to the penalty box 4.0 times per game in total this season, 4.6 per game over their past five outings total, and 4.0 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays 11.8 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Mike Smith has stopped 28.3 shots per game as the top option in goal for Calgary. Smith has 14 wins, 15 losses, and three OT losses and has registered a pedestrian 2.61 goals against average and a .918 save percentage this season.

The home team will be led on offense by Johnny Gaudreau (13 goals, 27 assists).

St. Louis Blues vs. Calgary Flames Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Flames, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • The under has hit in three of Calgary’s last five games.
  • This game features two teams that shoot the puck early and often. St. Louis has registered the league’s ninth-most shots on goal (33.6) while Calgary has attempted the ninth-most (33.2). The Blue Notes have averaged 29.8 shot attempts over their last five road games and the Flames have taken 36.0 shots over their last five home outings.
  • The Blues are 11-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 14-10 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total.
  • St. Louis is 2-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Calgary is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • Calgary is ranked 8th overall this season with 8.5 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as it has forced 7.9 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.4 takeaways over its last five.
  • St. Louis has averaged 4.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 8.1 takeaways per game (ranked 11th in the league).