NHL Predictions: December 30th with Calgary Flames vs Seattle Kraken

Calgary Flames vs Seattle Kraken
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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 Seattle Kraken. Be sure to check out our early predictions as well.

NHL Predictions with Calgary Flames vs Seattle Kraken

Calgary Flames vs Seattle Kraken

Head-to-Head: Flames 0-0 Kraken

It’s the first meeting of the season for the Pacific Division teams after their first meeting was postponed. Calgary was one of the first teams to deal with the COVID outbreak that’s swept the league. It will be Calgary’s first game since Dec. 11, so there’s no telling how they’ll come out. Will they be ready or will they be rusty? Jacob Markstrom will likely get the start since it’s the first matchup in quite a while.

The Kraken are thrust into a back-to-back situation after the Christmas break. Chris Driedger likely gets the start with Philipp Grubauer getting the call against the Philadelphia Flyers. Seattle is sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division and just lost leading-scorer Brandon Tanev to an ACL injury. They also have a few players on the list, but others like Carson Soucy are back.

Calgary may be rusty, but they just have a bit more depth.

Prediction: Flames win 3-1.

Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings

Head-to-Head: Canucks 1-0 Kings

The Canucks will be coming off back-to-back games after not playing since Dec. 16. Jaroslav Halak could get a rare start in net with two games being in two nights. Vancouver did get a 31-save shutout from Thatcher Demko in the first meeting of the season. J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser each provided a goal and an assist in the win. The team has been playing a lot better under new coach Bruce Boudreau and new interim general manager Jim Rutherford.

Los Angeles lost their first game back, 6-3, to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. The defence may have looked a bit rusty after the long layoff, but the Kings are still 12th in goals allowed coming into Wednesday’s games. Team leader in goals Adrian Kempe added another marker in the game versus Vegas. Jonathan Quick struggled in the last game and was pulled in favour of Garrett Sparks.

Vancouver will be coming off a tough game against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. Los Angeles might be better equipped after getting a game in earlier in the week.

Prediction: Kings win 4-3 in a shootout.

Philadelphia Flyers vs San Jose Sharks

Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-0 Sharks

It’s the first of two meetings between the two teams in the span of nine days. Both clubs are trying to get themselves back into the Stanley Cup Playoff race. A good start off the blocks after the break could turn either team from buyer into seller.

Philadelphia will be coming off a game against Seattle at Climate Pledge Arena. This could be an instance where a goalie goes two nights in a row as Martin Jones might get the call with Carter Hart in protocol. Felix Sandstrom was listed in the backup with goalie depth being tested. Claude Giroux has recovered from his nightmare 2020-21 campaign and got his milestone 600th assist against the Kraken.

San Jose is coming off a wild 8-7 shootout (in more ways than one) victory over the Arizona Coyotes in the first game from the holiday break. The Sharks got goals from eight different scorers as they shared the wealth. Tomas Hertl has 15 goals so far and could get interest at the deadline if San Jose falls out of contention. Timo Meier has been steady with 13 goals and 31 points.

The Sharks are 3-1 over the last three seasons against the Flyers. The over could also be a solid play as well, but check your favourite site for betting lines.

Prediction: Sharks win 5-3.

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