- Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets Predictions
Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets Predictions
Money Line Pick
Since the legendary Mikka Kiprusoff retired in 2013, Calgary has gone through 13 goalies without finding a solution. Flames fans are hoping the search is over for at least six years as Jacob Markstrom agreed to a $36 million deal this past offseason. Markstrom will have one familiar face, as Calgary also signed the steady defender Chris Tanev from Vancouver. The Jets, on the other hand, made more subtle moves–most significantly ensuring the return of Paul Stastny. Luckily for them, they can improve last year’s roster by simply staying healthy. Admittedly this is a tight matchup, but I believe the Flames come out on top in this season opener. Mark Giordano is leaps and bounds ahead of the Jets’ best defender, and the edge for the Jets in net is much smaller than perceived. Calgary star Johnny Gaudreau looks to start a new point streak as he finished the season with 16 points over his last 15 games.
Game Totals Pick
Thanks to the goalies getting so much attention leading up to puck drop, the over 5.5 shows some real value. The Flames ended last year on a tear, averaging 4.0 goals per game over their last 15 regular-season contests. They cooled off a bit in the playoffs, but that was mainly due to the defense of the Western Conference-champion Stars. The Jets are filled with highly-skilled forwards but are still filling gaps on the blueline. It should take the goalies a few games to get dialed into their Vezina Trophy-caliber play. Expect each team to contribute to the scoring and take the over 5.5.