Road Games The Story For Canadian NHL Teams On Thursday
Calgary's In New Jersey To Take On The Devils
The Calgary Flames six-game losing streak they were on seems to be a thing of the past with two straight victories under their belts, and they hope that number grows to three after the trip to New Jersey. Calgary beat the Devils (5-4) in a shootout back at the beginning of November, but that was also a time when both teams really weren't expected to be as good as they have been this year. The Devils would like some measure of revenge, and teh fact that the opening odds are where they are, New Jersey just might get it.
The Devils opened up as -120 home favorites for this game, and when you compare that to the -170 price tag the Flames had at home back in November, you'll realize that a change in venue doesn't solely make up for that large disparity. The Devils have become a "for real" team since those early days in November, and at 15-8-2-1 SU at home, the Devils are tough to beat in their own barn. Add in the Flames 0-4 SU record in their last four against winning opponents and bettors may want to look at laying the chalk here.
Montreal's Looking For Three In A Row Themselves
Like Calgary, the Montreal Canadiens are on the road in search of the three-game winning streak and facing a Metropolitan Division team as well. The Habs have the Flyers in their way on Thursday night and come in as more sizeable underdogs in the +130 price range. These two teams have yet to meet this year, but given that the home team is a perfect 8-0 SU the last eight times these two organizations have done battle, Montreal and their winning streak might be an instant memory after this one is all said and done.
The good news for Montreal in this spot is the fact that Philly hasn't been playing their best hockey of late in general. The Flyers ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 OT win at Carolina on Tuesday night and each of their last three wins overall have come during extra time. Continually playing OT games against any calibre of opponent is playing with fire if you are the Flyers and eventually they are going to get caught. I wouldn't necessarily believe Montreal will be the team to catch them, but I wouldn't put it past the Canadiens either.
Vancouver's Likely Getting Sent Out To Slaughter In Tampa Bay
Of the three Canadian teams playing road games on Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks have by far the toughest matchup and are listed as huge underdogs to get the job done. The +210 to +230 range the Canucks have opened up with is quite large, but it's also got to be considered par for the course for this Canucks team that will be golfing soon enough. They do catch Tampa in an unfavourable spot though with the Lightning returning home after a tough eight-game road trip and that can't be forgotten about here.
Tampa's road weariness showed up in a big way with a 6-2 defeat in Edmonton last time out as not even the All-Star break to break up that trip (All-Star game was in Tampa though) could have this team yearning to play in front of their home fans again. The Lightning have a real shot at going all the way this year, and while this is a tough scheduling spot for them, a loss to a poor team like the Canucks really can't be tolerated. They beat Vancouver 4-2 last week in the Pacific Northwest, and Tampa ML and/or Over plays are the only way to look here.
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