NHL 11/12/2021: Calgary Flames entertain Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers tangle with Carolina Hurricanes
The NHL is never short on drama, and there are some cracking fixtures to look forward to. We will be giving our thoughts on three of the biggest games taking place on Saturday evening, including the Calgary Flames v Boston Bruins, and the Edmonton Oilers v Carolina Hurricanes. We will also take a cursory glance at how the latest match odds are shaping up.
Calgary Flames roasted after rough evening against the San Jose Sharks
Things, on the whole, have been going swimmingly for the Flames. However, their Pacific title charge was checked earlier this week by the San Jose Sharks. Tomas Hertl was inspired for the Sharks. He popped up with his fourth career hat-trick as the Sharks enjoyed a 5-3 victory. This was after mounting a stunning comeback as they trailed 3-1 at one point.
Adin Hill made 40 saves, as the Sharks thwarted the Flames, who had gone into the game with a +16 goal differential. Flames head coach Darryl Sutter couldn’t conceal his disgust after seeing the Sharks smother his side. He said: “Our defence had a really rough night. The six defencemen played like an exhibition.”
Boston Bruins still searching for a cutting edge to their game
The Bruins have been wavering over the past few weeks. Currently, they are fifth in the Atlantic Division, with a 12-8-1 record to boot. However, what will be of more concern, is that Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron broke his nose in last week’s win over the Nashville Predators. He will have to sport a face shield for at least the next couple of weeks.
Los Angeles Kings still struggling with the power play
The Kings have wavered over the past few weeks. There has been some brilliance mixed in with some mediocre performances. The Kings were below par when they crashed to a 4-0 defeat against the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week. If anything, their power play has been undistinguished, and the stats will show that they have converted just above the power play league average of 19.75%.
Los Angeles Kings set to welcome Brendan Lemieux back after biting incident
Brendan Lemieux is set to return to the fray for the Kings against Minnesota Wild this weekend after he served a five-game suspension for a biting incident. The unsavoury event happened in the third period against the Ottawa Senators when Lemieux bit Brady Tkachuk. Lemieux will have been sorely missed, and he could provide the cutting edge for the Kings against the Wild.
Minnesota Wild flying after cruising to victory over the Edmonton Oilers
So, who can stop the Wild? As things stand, they are seven points clear at the top of the Central Division, boasting an 18-6-1 record from 25 games played. They have already amassed nearly a century of goals, and they were typically dominant against the Oilers earlier this week, as they ran out 4-1 winners.
It was the Wild’s seventh win on the bounce, and they have been in red-hot form. Jon Merrill and Dmitry Kulikov should take credit for the Wild’s scintillating displays. Merrill is on course to shatter his career-high of games played (66) and points scored (15). This is despite having to play through the pain barrier after picking up an injury against the Florida Panthers.
Meanwhile, Kulikov is something of a journeyman, as the Wild represents the sixth NHL franchise he has turned out for. He is surpassing all expectations, and he is on course to break his personal best for points scored in a season. With Kulikov and Merrill orchestrating things on the ice, the Kings should be scared!
Edmonton Oilers desperate to arrest losing streak
At the start of the campaign, the Oilers raced out of the traps with a 9-1 record. But they ought to be reminded the NHL is a marathon and not a sprint. Although they are third in the Pacific Division, they have lost their last three games on the bounce, and now they are going through a bit of a lull.
Whereas the Hurricanes are in free-scoring mode, and they have netted 10 times in their past two NHL outings. A 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets has set them up nicely for taking on the Flames. This has the ingredients to be a classic, and it could be difficult picking a winner.
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