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NHL Free Pick: Bruins vs. Flames Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview

NHL Lines: Boston vs Calgary Pick

A pair of eighth place teams will square off on Monday night when the Boston Bruins (28-20-7) visit the Calgary Flames (31-22-3). Cappers Picks will provide free NHL picks all season so check back often.

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Boston vs Calgary
When: Monday Feb. 16 at 9:00 pm EST
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
TV: TSN
NHL Gambling Line:Calgary +115/ Boston -127
NHL Gambling Over Under Line: 5
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This will be the first of two meetings between these two teams. Both Boston and Calgary are clutching on to eight place in their respective conferences by thin margins and wins are at a premium. For a team to make the playoffs these are the make or break games, when matched up against opponents with similar records and standing.

Bruins

The Bruins have taken a pretty significant step backwards from their Presidents Trophy campaign a year ago. An aging Zdeno Chara coupled with the loss of Johnny Boychuk and the regression in play from Tuukka Rask has made the Bruins a very average team that doesn’t strike fear into opponents the way they once did.

Boston sits just three points ahead of Florida for the final playoff spot in the East and are coming into this one on a five game losing streak where they have been atrocious defensively of late.

This team has predicated itself on being very tough to break down and score against but have surrendered five goals in each of their last two games and have yet to record a win in February. Tonight will be the middle leg of a three game road trip through western Canada for the Bruins, having dropped the first game 5-2 to Vancouver.

The team’s road trip is five games in total and wraps up with Chicago and St. Louis so if the Bruins don’t get a win tonight this trip could turn into a disaster pretty quickly.

Flames

It’s been a very exciting season if you’re a Flames fan as this young team has put forth a great showing and are one of the league’s most improved teams.

The future looks bright for a team that includes Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and T.J. Brodie and will have Sam Bennett join the fold in the coming years.

As with any young team however, the Flames have struggled to find consistency at times and will run off a nice streak of wins only to follow it with a rough patch where they drop four or five straight. February has been somewhat similar to that pattern as the Flames have four wins and two losses. Two wins were convincing beatings of the San Jose Sharks, but those are paired with a 4-0 rout at the hands of the Penguins and a 5-3 loss to the Kings.

This is probably the toughest month on Calgary’s schedule as they play nothing but playoff caliber teams save for the New Jersey Devils. Calgary will wrap up this home stand against the Ducks and a surging Minnesota Wild team before heading to the Eastern Conference to take on the Rangers, Islanders and aforementioned Devils. How the Flames finish this month should be a good indicator as to whether or not this team is ready to be a playoff contender.

Bruins vs. Flames 4* Free Pick

There’s a lot to be said for how you perform against your division and conference opponents, which is where the Flames have certainly held up very well. However in this NHL you play each team from the opposing conference twice and those games have a huge value.

Calgary will play 32 games against the East, a conference that they have not had a lot of success against. The Flames are just 7-12-2 against the Eastern Conference this season, while the Bruins have been pretty solid against the West at 9-9-2.

It seems like whenever the Flames start to look good this year an Eastern Conference team comes in and gives them a reality check (they backed up a four game win streak in late December by dropping three straight at home to Eastern teams, had run off four wins in five games before the Penguins came in and stomped them 4-0).

Boston is the more desperate team here tonight, mired in a five game slide and Calgary doesn’t seem to play well against the tougher Eastern teams.

I like the Bruins to win this one.

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About Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.


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