Only three games going on in the NHL but here at Pucking Hockey we have NHL prediction tips for the Calgary Flames vs New Jersey Devils match-up.
New Jersey Devils Recent Surge
Big game tonight for both the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils. Not just 2 weeks ago we all thought New Jersey were out of the playoff race, but since Adam Oates has cut back Jaromir Jagr’s minutes, they started to win.
Not to knock Jagr, but he can’t do it all himself. This is a team sport, this is not the 90’s anymore, where 1-3 players did all the work. And I don’t think he can accept that, and of course he is chasing one more Stanley Cup.
Oates made the right choice by demoting Jagr to lesser minutes. The Devils need to play as a group and that’s exactly why they have won 4 consecutive games. Balance is key in this sport. The LA Kings didn’t win the big game from just 1-2 players, they won because all 4 lines did their jobs.
Cory Schneider will start in goal tonight for the New Jersey Devils
Schneider stopped all 38 shots that he faced in the Devils 3-0 shutout win over the Coyotes on Monday. Things just keep rolling for Schneider, who has won three of his last four while allowing just four goals. Tonight he will face a Flames team he is familiar with from his days in Vancouver—he has gone 4-3-0 with a 1.97 GAA and .938 SV% vs. Calgary in his career.
Minnesota Is Creeping Closer and Closer To Calgary
It’s a safe assumption that Joan Hiller is why the Minnesota Wild are right behind the Flames in the Western Conference standings. He has been awful as of late after being fantastic. Of course he sat for nearly 2 weeks before he bounced back, but he’s right back in that slump.
Luckily for the Flames, backup goaltender Karri Romo has jumped in during Hiller’s slump, and has played sensational. And when Ramo started to slump, Hiller jumped in and played sensational. I personally believe if a NHL team has this flexibility in-goal, it provides balance which is the key to success in hockey.
The only problem I have with the Flames however, they are 3-8 vs Metropolitan teams this season. I’ve been watching the Flames this season and it seems like every time their goaltender is in the zone, the players in front lack to score goals. Last night Ramo was fantastic, he was the sole reason why the Flames were fortunate to have only lost 1-0. That could have been an easy 4-0 loss, but like I just mentioned, I think if New York scored more goals, the Flames would have started scoring.
Karri Ramo stopped 28 of 29 shots in the Flames 1-0 shutout loss to the Rangers last night. The strong outing has earned him the nod on back-to-back nights for the first time this season. He allowed four goals on 29 shots in a 5-4 shootout win in his first start against the Devils this season.
Free NHL Pick
I have been high on the Flames this season, but I don’t like them in a back to back situation, on the road, against a Metropolitan divisional team. Especially since the Devils are 11-2-3 in the past 16 games at Prudential Center. It’s not going to be an easy win but the Devils are capable og grinding this one out, in a tight game.
New Jersey Devils -120 (risking $120 to profit $100)
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