by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Calgary Flames will have their work cut out for them down the stretch of the NHL regular season if they are to repeat as Pacific Division champions. The Flames have enjoyed a steady run going into this weekend’s all-star break, posting wins in six of their past eight contests.
However, with the club knotted in a four-way tie for second place in the divisional standings, one point back of frontrunner Vancouver, the Flames reach the break deadlocked with the Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights as a +300 wager on the odds to win the Pacific Division at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Flames emerged as the class of the Western Conference last season, recording 50 wins for the first time since their Stanley Cup victory in 1989. However, since opening the season as second favorites to repeat as divisional champions, trailing the Golden Knights, the Flames have had to endure inconsistent play on the ice and drama off the ice during the first half of the campaign.
Shaken by a six-game losing streak and the subsequent departure of head coach Bill Peters under a cloud of controversy in November, Calgary struggled to stay competitive early on. By the time Peters spent his last game behind the Flames bench on November 25, the team was struggling for a way out of seventh place in the division, and to halt a slide at the sportsbooks, where their betting line tumbled to as long as +1300 on the NHL odds.
A new head coach brought new life to the Flames, at least temporarily. Interim bench boss Geoff Ward was greeted by a seven-game win streak that lifted the team back into playoff contention. However, a subsequent 2-5-1 run and continued spotty offensive production continue to be concerns. Calgary failed to score more than two goals in five of six contests ahead of the break, leaving them buried in 25th overall in goals scored this season.
Not surprisingly, the Flames have failed to gain any momentum on the Stanley Cup odds at sports betting sites, where they remain stalled at a lengthy +2800, back of Vegas at +1800, the Canucks at +2000, and the Edmonton Oilers at +2200.
At the top of the Stanley Cup odds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals sit even at +800. The Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and St. Louis Blues each sport +900 odds, just ahead of the Colorado Avalanche who round out the list of favorites at +1000.