Free NHL Playoffs Prediction: Flames vs Ducks NHL Betting Odds
Looking for Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks free playoff plays & NHL series odds? NHL betting sees the Flames taking on the Ducks on Wednesday April 12th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all Stanley Cup playoffs long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(45-33-4) Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks (46-23-13)
The Ducks were able to fend off both the Edmonton Oilers and the San Jose Sharks to finish at the top of the Pacific Division. They’ll play the first wildcard seed and fellow Pacific Division rivals, the Calgary Flames, who finished with just one win less than the Pacific Division champs, though six points overall.
The Flames went on an incredible run when it mattered the most, through February and March, to secure a playoff spot. The Flames certainly have youth on their side, but can they defeat the favored Ducks?
The defensive unit of the Flames is their calling card, with captain Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton manning the top pairing, which is as solid as any in the league. Hamilton led all Flames blueliners with 13 goals and 50 points on the season, and Giordano finished with the best plus-minus on the team of +22.
The acquisition of Michael Stone near the trade deadline solidified the second unit, playing alongside T.J. Brodie. Brodie finished with a solid 36 points for the regular season, and Stone earned 6 points in 19 games since the deal.
Many of the young forwards in Cowtown will get their first taste of NHL playoff action. Look for strong performances from Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan, all of whom play a gritty style that should translate well into the postseason. Michael Frolik has a Cup championship on his resume and should provide some playoff leadership for the newcomers.
That’s not to take anything away from their top scoring talent, Johnny Gaudreau, who finished as the Flames’ top scorer with 61 points in 72 games. He’ll likely be facing former Selke-winner, Ryan Kesler, and the Ducks’ top defensive pairing.
Brian Elliott had a terrible start to his career in Calgary this season, but was amongst the best netminders in the last couple month of the season. He managed to finish with a .910 SV% and a 2.55 GAA on the year overall, and will look to continue his solid play of late to backstop his squad.
The Ducks have the experience on their side, with many of their top players being a part of their 2006-07 Cup winning team. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are certainly used to the big stage, having also represented Canada on numerous occasions.
Getzlaf once again led the Ducks in scoring this season, registering 73 points in 74 games played for essentially a point-per-game pace. Ryan Kesler finished second behind him, with 58 points, and his importance cannot be understated. The “second Ryan” was a key force to Vancouver’s Cup run in 2011, almost single-handedly beating Nashville on his own.
Rickard Rakell looks like the steal of the 2011 draft, at 30th overall. Rakell missed 10 games at the start of the season while in contract negotiations, but managed 33 goals in 71 games for the team lead in the category.
An injury to Cam Fowler certainly hurts Anaheim’s defensive corps, but they have the depth to manage without him. Sami Vatanen appears ready to go, and will now be the Ducks’ leading point-getter from the backend with Fowler out.
The team has one of the better defensive groups between Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Shea Theodore, Clayton Stoner, Brandon Montour, Kevin Bieksa, amongst other options.
In net, John Gibson has developed into a very good starting goalie. Gibson has a 2.22 GAA and a .924 SV% on the season with 25 wins. Back-up, Jonathan Bernier, is an excellent second option should the Ducks need him.
Free Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks Playoff Series Prediction:
It’s a tale of two very different teams here, with the Ducks having a ton of experience and the Flames with a skilled young squad, many of which are getting a taste of playoff hockey for the first time.
Overall, I think the experience and depth of the Ducks is too much for the Flames. Anaheim holds an advantage in goal, which could be the main difference in the series.
4* Free NHL Series Betting Pick: Anaheim -170
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