Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks.
NHL Predictions: December 12th including Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks
Editors Note: Due To Six Players and One Staff Member Entering COVID-19 Protocol the NHL Has Announced that Calgary Flames Games Through at least December 16th Have Been Postponed.
Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-t0-Head: Flames 1-0 Blackhawks
It’s the only game in town on this Monday night as the Flames try to halt a four-game losing streak. Calgary beat Chicago, 5-2, earlier in the season. It was a balanced effort for the Flames with five different goal-scorers. Elias Lindholm handed out two assists and Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves.
On the Chicago end, Reese Johnson got a goal and an assist and Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves. Calgary got a pair of empty-net goals to get the final margin.
The teams will meet for the final time on Jan. 2.
Calgary Heading In
The Flames have hit a wall lately after a great start. Calgary’s offence has struggled in recent games, as its only scored three goals in one game during the recent run. The Flames have run into some tough opposition with games against Vegas, Boston and Carolina.
Calgary does have some good things going for them as it’s third in goals against with 62 allows. The Flames are fifth in penalty kill and 10th on the power play. Andrew Mangiapane leads the Flames in goals with 17 and Johnny Gaudreau has 30 points, including 20 assists. Markstrom does still have a 1.94 goals-against-average and .933 save percentage.
The Flames do have four games this week, including a back-to-back against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Dan Vladar may get the start in the first game of the two games so Markstrom can start on Tuesday. Getting some Flames players on your fantasy team could be a good play with the amount games they have. Sites like Daily Faceoff will usually have the starters before game time so you can set your lineups.
Chicago Heading In
The Hawks have losses in three in five games but do have a 2-0 shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens. They did lose a 5-4 heartbreaker to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Chicago has struggled in most major categories including goals for (30th), power-play (23rd), goals against (25th) and penalty kill (20th). The Blackhawks were supposed to be a team that was going to contend for the Central Division title. However, a terrible start may have doomed them and the Hawks may have to start trading players.
The Blackhawks also have four games this week with a back-to-back Friday and Saturday. Fleury likely gets the call for this one and the next game against Washington on Wednesday. Alex DeBrincat, who is the team’s leading scorer, might be worth a look in your daily and/or weekly fantasy leagues. Top assist provider Seth Jones might also be worth a look.
The Flames losing streak should have them a very hungry group for Darryl Sutter‘s men. Goals have been hard to come by for Calgary, but Chicago’s struggling defence may be the tonic it needs to help bounce back.
Prediction: Flames win 4-2.