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Odds Still Favor Flames to Win Western Conference After Dropping Game 2

Johnny Gaudreau skating
Despite a Game 2 OT loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames are still favored to win the NHL's Western Conference. Photo by mark6mauno (flickr) [CC License].
  • Bovada still favors the Calgary Flames to win the NHL’s Western Conference
  • Calgary and Colorado are deadlocked 1-1 in their first-round Stanley Cup series
  • The St. Louis Blues were the only Western Conference team to grab a 2-0 lead

During the NHL regular season, the Calgary Flames were the best team in the Western Conference, and Bovada hasn’t lost faith in the Flames just because of one overtime setback.

The sportsbook continues to put the Flames as the chalk to win the West and represent the conference in the Stanley Cup final.

2018-19 NHL Western Conference Championship Odds

Team Odds at Bovada
Calgary Flames +200
St. Louis Blues +325
Vegas Golden Knights +550
San Jose Sharks +600
Dallas Stars +800
Nashville Predators +800
Winnpeg Jets +1300
Colorado Avalanche +2200

*Odds taken on 04/03/19.
Calgary finished atop the Western Conference standings this season with 107 points. The Flames haven’t played in the Stanley Cup final since 2003-04.

Flames Feel Best Is Yet To Come

Calgary took Game 1 of their set with the Colorado Avalanche by a 4-0 count. Goalie Mike Smith became the first goalie in Flames history to post a shutout in a playoff series opener.

The Flames took a 2-1 lead on a Sean Monahan goal with seven minutes left in regulation time in Game 2, but the Avs rallied. J.T. Compher tied the score with Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer pulled for an extra attacker. Nathan MacKinnon won it for the Avalanche in overtime.

It was Colorado’s first win over Calgary in five tries this season, and turned the home-ice advantage in the Avs’ favor. But the Flames see no reason to panic.

They don’t believe they’ve played anywhere near their best hockey yet in this series. Certainly, Calgary’s breakneck speed hasn’t been on display with any regularity.

Calgary has only held a 2-0 lead four times in 44 all-time playoff series. They’ve won four of their last five games at Colorado and were 8-0-1 in their last nine against the Avalanche prior to Game 2. The Avs are just 7-10 in playoff series that were tied 1-1 after two games.

They’ve Got Plenty Of Company

Three of the four Western Conference opening-round series were saw-offs through two games. The favored Nashville Predators also worked overtime in Game 2 to pull out a victory and draw even with the Dallas Stars.

The Vegas Golden Knights scored three goals on the San Jose Sharks in the first 6:11 of Game 2, and then blew that lead before the opening period concluded.

But Vegas regrouped and dropped the Sharks 5-3 to also leave their set standing 1-1.

Vegas and Colorado are Game 2 winners who are headed home for Game 3. The Predators take their show on the road for Game 3.

Blues Heaven

The most dominant Western Conference team so far in the playoffs is the St. Louis Blues. They went into Winnipeg and took two from the hometown Jets. The Blues are 3-0 in franchise history in series when they’ve opened 2-0 on the road.

St. Louis was one of the NHL’s best teams after making a coaching change from Mike Yeo to Craig Berube on Nov. 19. From Nov. 21 through the end of the season, the Blues posted a 38-19-6 record for 82 points, second-best in the league.

Anticipate A Flame Out

The Flames will take care of business against the Avalanche, but Calgary won’t be the last team standing when the West is won.

We liked the Blues to come out of the West when the playoffs started and others are getting on board. The price on the Blues already dropped from +500 to +325. St. Louis is getting spectacular netminding from rookie Jordan Binnington. The Blues are up 2-0 on the Jets even though Vladimir Tarasenko is without a point.

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An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.