The Calgary Flames currently trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in their best-of-seven series, but there’s reason to believe they shouldn’t be counted out.
This isn’t exactly an unfamiliar situation for Flames head coach Darryl Sutter, who’s had to come from behind during prior runs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has had success in doing so.
If there’s one coach you want to go to battle with it’s Sutter and that should comfort Flames fans in a series where they’ve looked ordinary over their last two games against Edmonton.
Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Elias Lindholm have combined for 31 points in ten playoff games, but besides this star trio, there haven’t been a lot of bright spots for this Calgary team. Much of that credit can go to how well Jake Oettinger played in goal for the Dallas Stars in Round 1.
Scoring depth was a big key to Calgary’s regular-season success.
Thir top line has been one of the best in hockey this year, but the issue right now is that they’re being outclassed by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evander Kane, who’ve posted 55 points through 10 postseason games.
Despite how the first three games have played out, there’s still reason to like the number the Flames are priced at to win the Stanley Cup.
Calgary finished the regular season with the sixth-best record in hockey and of the Western Conference teams remaining, only Colorado had more points. This is noteworthy because we know what this Flames team is capable of when they play to their potential.
They currently boast a price of +950 to win the Stanley Cup this season and those are the fifth-highest odds, which have fallen from +550 over the last week. There’s a reason they sit behind the Edmonton Oilers right now, who lead their best-of-seven series 2-1, but that hardly means we shouldn’t still consider what Calgary has to offer.
The Flames have continued to be elite on the penalty kill and have killed 92.31% of penalties this postseason, which has them ranked second out of the 16 playoff teams that qualified.
Where there’s room for improvement is with the powerplay, with the Flames only clicking at an 11.11% rate, which is the third-worst in the playoffs.
The biggest answer for how the Flames might propel themselves to a series victory over the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs comes from in goal with Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom is a finalist this year for the Vezina Trophy but hasn’t played up to those standards through ten playoff games, which have seen plenty of peaks and valleys from the Swedish netminder.
The goaltender has posted a playoff record of 5-5 with a .912 save percentage and 2.65 G.A.A, which are slightly lower than his regular-season averages of .922 and 2.22.
Those slight downgrades you’re seeing in the playoffs can be a big difference-maker for a team that relies heavily on goaltending and defense, especially as the opposition improves. The basis of buying low on Calgary making a run is Markstrom’s ability to rediscover his regular-season form.
We believe at the current price of +950 that bounceback potential from Markstrom and Calgary presents value. Buy now, before they take back control of their series against Edmonton and you see that price rise substantially.
The current Stanley Cup Odds from the FanDuel Sportsbook:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||280|
|New York Rangers||2000|
|St. Louis Blues||3000|