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Oilers vs Flames Betting Odds – One Streak Will End

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/29/2010 1:09:50 PM

NHL Odds: Pick Flames

Putting the Super Bowl line aside for now, the Oilers Flames betting odds used to be known as the Battle of Alberta. This Saturday it will be known as the Battle of The Losing Streaks. Both the Oilers and the Flames are mired in historical losing streaks, and it’s only fitting that one of them will end at the hands of their most hated rival. The Flames are winless in nine, although their last two losses have been via shootout. Those extra points have allowed Calgary to stay in the payoff race that they seem so desperate to get out of. At the beginning of the month, Calgary was leading the Northwest Division. Their current slide has knocked them down to 9th in the conference.

But it’s even worse for the Oilers. Winless in 12, the Edmonton Oilers can officially call themselves the future home of Taylor Hall. They’re dead last in the NHL for the first time in franchise history and have yet to win a game in the year 2010. In fact, a loss against Calgary will give the Oilers a perfect 0-13 record in the month of January. The NHL betting community knows they’re bad.

Oilers Flames betting odds:
Edmonton 0-10-2 in last 12
Calgary 0-6-3 in last 9
Flames forward Jarome Iginla: one goal and five assists in last 13 games

The Flames looked poised to end their losing skid last Thursday against Phoenix, coming back from a two-goal deficit and holding all of the momentum going into overtime. Unfortunately that’s when Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov shut the door, and the Flames were left scratching their heads after another blown opportunity. That’s been the main difference between Calgary’s losing streak and Edmonton’s. There have been games for the Flames where they looked like they could win only to have to other team’s goaltender stand on his head. That was the case on Thursday. Sometimes, the Flames start the game off hot and just blow it. That was the case on Wednesday, when Calgary gave up a two-goal lead to the Dallas Stars and lots 4-3 in a shootout. That game proved Calgary still had some offensive flair in them. Captain Jarome Iginla broke out of an 11-game goalless streak against the Stars. He and Dion Phaneuf both scored in the first period in just a 23-second span. Both of those goals came on the power play, where Calgary had been a dismal 2-for-32 in their previous 11 games. 

The Oilers, as sportsbook betters will tell you, just look beat every time they step on the ice. Their 12-game losing streak is a franchise record, a far cry from the glory days of the 1980’s. They’ve lost 19 of their last 20. They’ve scored three goals in a game only three times this calendar year. It’s a pretty ugly sight.

Calgary’s losing streak has taken a toll of the Flames postseason aspirations. On January 5th, the Flames held a slim lead atop the Northwest Division. Since then, they’ve won once, lost nine in a row and have fallen to eighth in the conference. The Flames are currently tied with Detroit points-wise, but control the final playoff spot because of one more victory on the season.

The only good news for Edmonton this week was the return of a couple players from injury. Both Gilbert Brule and Mike Comrie returned in the Oilers’ 2-1 loss to St. Louis. Hardly superstar additions, but the way things have been going for Edmonton they’ll take all the help they can get.

The Flames too are missing a couple of key players, but no one big enough to justify a nine-game losing streak. David Moss, Nigel Dawes and Craig Conroy are all hurt and are not expected to be back anytime soon. Online betting suggests that Conroy may be the most missed. He’s got good chemistry with Iginla and is one of the emotional leaders on the team. Still, there is a silver lining in his absence. The Flames recently called up Mikael Backlund, the team’s first-round pick in 2007. Backlund responded by scoring his first career goal Thursday against the Coyotes. His youth and exuberance may be the kick in the pants Iginla needs to break out of his slump.

This game may not actually have a ‘winner,’ per se. It may just have a team that doesn’t lose. The Flames have shown some life as of late but there is a reason they’ve gone nine straight games without a win. The Oilers, however, are just a bad hockey team. A Flames win here and Edmonton goes 0-13 in January. Epic fail.

Oilers vs. Flames Betting Pick: Flames

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