Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Game 1 Info & NHL Odds
Trying to predict the outcome of the NHL playoffs is more than a little fun, mostly because there is a stunning level of parity in this league. Teams that excel in the regular season don’t always go deep in the playoffs, simply because they run into a grittier team that has been built for playoff success. I always like trying to pick out a dark horse when the playoffs begin, and the team that I like right now is the Calgary Flames. They are one of the most exciting young teams in the league, but they have given me some case for concern with their opening round match-up.
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The Anaheim Ducks are a team that the Flames have routinely struggled against in recent years, and they are going to have to buck some serious trends if they are to win this series and make the deep run that I have predicted. This series, which pits Pacific Division rivals together, will get rolling on Thursday night, with the Flames looking to steal one on the road that would shift home ice advantage back in their favor.
Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks Game 1 Info & NHL Odds:
When: Thursday, April 13 at 10:30 PM EST
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
Radio: Tune in radio
Live Stream: NHL.com
NHL Odds: Ducks -1½+180
Why bet on the Calgary Flames
Given that the Flames have had very limited success versus the Ducks, you might have thought that they would have tried a little harder to improve their playoff seeding at the end of the season. That they sat their best players and played some prospects in the final couple of games should be viewed as a sure sign that they are confident of beating anyone. A look at the stats the Flames posted this season might make you wonder how they are even in the playoffs, as they are strictly middle of the pack in everything. They are a dangerous bunch, though, and had no less than 12 players hit double digits in goals scored this season.
Why bet on the Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks finished the season is some real style, winning 8 of their last 10 games, including 4 straight to close things out, which was good enough to get them the Pacific Division crown. Fans of the Ducks will have been delighted to see that they landed the Flames in the opening round of the playoffs, simply because this is a team that they have dominated. They have won 9 of the last 10 regular season games versus the Flames, and they also knocked them out of the playoffs when they met in the second round a couple of years back. A stingy defense and awesome penalty killing unit make this team very tough to break down.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I would not be totally surprised to see the Flames steal one on the road, but I don’t see them getting the win in the opening game. My money is on the Ducks for Game 1, but this could be a long series.
Calgary Flames 2 Anaheim Ducks 3