NHL Stanley Cup odds update: Flames are heating up
Several teams are off to surprising starts in the 2021-2022 NHL season, but perhaps none more so than the Calgary Flames, who are 9-3-5 and sit one point behind the first-place Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division.
📂 Calgary Flames 2021-22 Goal Clips— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 19, 2021
└📁 November Goals
└📁 Nov 18th vs BUF
└⚠️ This folder is growing bigger & bigger pic.twitter.com/pwNYev49lq
A season ago, the Flames were 26-27-3, and finished fifth of seven teams in the all-Canada division. So it wasn’t shocking to see them listed as +4000 shots to win the Stanley Cup ahead of this year. But Calgary’s odds have been slashed nearly in half to +2300 since opening night.
Let’s break down the pros and the cons of placing a Stanley Cup future bet on the Flames today before rendering our verdict.
NHL Championship 2021/2022
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Tampa Bay Lightning
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Toronto Maple Leafs
The case for the Flames
If you’re going to make a case for Calgary to win their first Stanley Cup since 1989, you have to begin with goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
He’s thrown his hat into the ring for Vezina Trophy honors in his second season with the Flames, authoring a 1.68 GAA and .942 save %, ranking behind only Jack Campbell of the Toronto Maple Leafs in each category. He’s recorded five of Calgary’s first six shutouts, and that amount of shutouts in the first 17 games of the year has not been seen in the NHL since 1938.
Calgary's Andrew Mangiapane had the goalie lost 😅 pic.twitter.com/DyN64fxcbP— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 27, 2021
Another pleasant surprise for the Flames has been the ascendance of forward Andrew Mangiapane, who leads his team with 12 goals, and trails only Leon Draisaitl (17) for the NHL lead. Fellow forward Elias Lindholm (18 points) is on pace for a career-year as well.
The case against the Flames
The biggest knock against the Flames has to be their inconsistent offense. Their last three games – a 4-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators, a 2-1 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and a 5-0 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres – is their season in a microcosm.
Cam Atkinson nets the overtime winner to lift the Flyers over the Flames 🔥 pic.twitter.com/q7DPJqFg3l— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 17, 2021
Calgary has failed to make hay during what’s been a soft November schedule, going 3-2-4. The Flames will not have those “sympathy points” for overtime losses to comfort them in the playoffs. When you boil it down, their 9-8 straight-up record is not all that impressive.
The ship may have sailed on the defensively-sound but inexperienced Flames. Bettors appear to be better served waiting and watching, especially with “sleeping dogs” like the Colorado Avalanche (+500) and the Vegas Golden Knights (+900) looming in the west.