The playoff-chasing Calgary Flames will be quietly confident of securing a huge victory in this contest; Chicago have struggled to inspire confidence throughout the 2017/18 season and it is hard to place too much faith in Patrick Kane and co at this moment in time.
In fact, the Blackhawks are rock bottom of the Central Division after winning just 24 games so far this year. Something HAS to give if the 2015 Stanley Cup winners, a distant 33/1 with Winner Sports in this year’s outright betting, are to become relevant ahead of the postseason.
Comparatively, the Flames have been simply sublime. Calgary are just two points behind the second placed San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Canadian side climb above their rivals on current form.
Glen Gulutzan’s side have lost five National Hockey League matches in a row but that run could come to an end here. Watch this space, Calgary could blossom into an elite franchise in the coming months.
Home Advantage Could Help Calgary To Bounce Back
After a difficult run of form, the Flames need their passionate fan base to get behind them at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary are by no means a complete franchise, and that is why bookmakers are pricing the Canadian side at 40/1 to win the Stanley Cup this season.
The 1999 champions will be keen to snag a second title but backing the Flames to win ice hockey’s ultimate prize this year may be a little far-fetched. They will certainly need plenty of luck to compete with the best teams in the business…
Calgary don’t lead the National Hockey League in any major categories and they lack that star quality to turn a match on its head in the blink of an eye. Organised, effective and efficient are three words that you could use to describe their achievements thus far.
KEY MAN: Johnny Gaudreau. Leading the team in total points with 56, Gaudreau is perhaps Calgary’s only real game-changing talent. Capable of turning defence into attack in a short space of time, the Flames left wing has the quality to fire Calgary to the playoffs. Don’t rule them out just yet.
Bleak Times For The Once-Glorious Blackhawks
Since the beginning of the 2009/10 National Hockey League season, Chicago have won the Stanley Cup three times – an outstanding achievement. The Blackhawks have struggled for form this year though and they currently sit at the foot of the Central Division.
It will take a minor miracle for Chicago to somehow qualify for the playoffs now; they sit 13 points behind the Winnipeg Jets at the top of the division.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, so often saviours for Chicago in previous years, are both struggling to inspire confidence and that is a key reason for their downfall. The Blackhawks invested heavily in both players and that gamble is now coming back to bite Chicago – it is hard to see this roster turning things around.
KEY MAN: Patrick Kane. Kane still leads the team in several categories, but that only really emphasises just how poor Chicago have been. Averaging a point each time he takes to the ice, Kane has 20 goals and 30 assists to his name and he could be the man to lead his side up the division.
Two years ago, this one would have been down as a nailed-on Chicago win for most tipsters but we are going with Calgary here. The Canadian side are playing with more confidence than their opponents despite losing give on the spin and they could reverse that run of form in this encounter.
It won’t be a pretty affair but Calgary fans may be celebrating a huge win come Saturday night.
FLAMES 3-1 BLACKHAWKS