FGD 42: Home sweet home (and home) (8pm MT, CBC)

Ryan Pike
January 07 2017 12:01PM

The Calgary Flames headed to Vancouver last night to play one of their most important games of the season against the Canucks. They out-shot Vancouver in each period. They out-chanced Vancouver. They out-everythinged Vancouver, frankly. But they lost 4-2 due to bounces and some heroic goaltending from Ryan Miller.

The Flames get a second chance to beat Vancouver tonight at the Saddledome. Much like yesterday's contest, the game has tremendous importance due to its playoff implications. Both teams want to hang around the playoff pack as long as possible, ideally in a playoff spot. A win tonight (for either side) will help them do just that.

The puck drops at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

Check out a view from the other side from Canucks Army!

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Alex Chiasson
Matthew Tkachuk Mikael Backlund Michael Frolik
Kris Versteeg Sam Bennett Micheal Ferland
Lance Bouma Matt Stajan Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie Dennis Wideman
Jyrki Jokipakka Deryk Engelland

After Brian Elliott took the loss last night, allowing 4 goals on 13 shots, Chad Johnson slots back in between the pipes. He started in Vancouver back in October. He's 13-8-1 with a 2.34 goals against average and .920 save percentage in 22 appearances this season.

A couple lineup notes for tonight: Jyrki Jokipakka and Garnet Hathaway are back in, which means that Tyler Wotherspoon and (probably) Freddie Hamilton sit. Wotherspoon struggled a bit last night at times, so changing up the defensive group seems like a good idea. Hathaway likely provides a bit more bite in his game than the elder Hamilton did last night, so that's another decent move. Ladislav Smid and Troy Brouwer remain out with injuries.

The Flames' top line of Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk continues to roll along nicely. Backlund is now the team's outright scoring leader, which is something crazy to think about this far into the season. That trio has also bolstered the second power play group, which scored last night. They'll need to be good again tonight for the Flames to grab a pair of points.

THE CANUCKS

Last night's lines via Daily Faceoff:

Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Jayson Megna
Loui Eriksson Brandon Sutter Markus Granlund
Sven Baertschi Bo Horvat Anton Rodin
Brendan Gaunce Michael Chaput Jack Skille

Alexander Edler Troy Stecher
Luca Sbisa Chris Tanev
Ben Hutton Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller was great last night, but he gets a night off after facing 46 shots. Jacob Markstrom instead suits up given the back to back situation. He's 8-8-2 with a 2.60 goals against average and .913 save percentage.

Chris Tanev left last night's game after block a shot, so that likely means that Alex Biega slots in and the defensive pairings get shuffled a bit. Beyond that, don't expect many changes for the Canucks aside from perhaps Alex Burrows (who missed last night's game due to illness) sliding back in if he's feeling better.

The Canucks got two points almost entirely on the back of their goaltender last night. They'll need to be better as a group if they want another two tonight.

THE NUMBERS


FLAMES
CANUCKS
Wins
21
20
Points
(Pct.)
44
(.537)
43
(.524)
Power Play
20.9%
14.4%
Penalty Kill
81.3%
80.2%
Score-Adjusted Corsi
50.2%
47.3%
Sedins
0
2

HISTORY LESSON

This is Round 268 of this rivalry that has no official name – though I like "Rocky Mountain Rivalry" as a name. The Flames are 130-90-47 in their prior regular season meetings. Vancouver has won two of three games between these two clubs (once in overtime), so the Flames have a 1-1-1 record head to head this season with the Canucks. After tonight, they play one more time on February 18.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Your recommended follows from the other side for tonight:

SUM IT UP

The Flames are probably frothing at the mouth for a rematch after how well they played last night (despite the result). If they play the way they did last night again tonight, they'll get two points. And with the Western Conference playoff race jam-packed, they could use two points.

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Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames since 2010. He's Senior Contributing Editor at FlamesNation, a Senior Writer covering the Flames and the NHL Draft for The Hockey Writers, and a correspondent for the Fischler Report. You can see his hand or the side of his head on TV sometimes.
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#51 Jakethesnail
January 07 2017, 10:39PM
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3 Little Birds wrote:

Wow, highly entertaining game!!

I think you have your starter, he's been standing on his head.

Love how the intensity is ramped up as season goes on.

Frolik is on fire.

Are we going to get sucked in that easy. All season long we have been saying the same thing after a goalie plays well then crucify him the next night!

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#52 flames2015
January 07 2017, 10:40PM
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Johnson probably grew up hating the canucks too. Has only allowed 2 goals against in the two games hes started in vs them. Good stuff!

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#53 The GREAT WW
January 07 2017, 10:42PM
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What a perfect pass by CHUK to spring Frolik.

Chuk is a BEAST!

WW

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#54 everton fc
January 07 2017, 10:43PM
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Things are tight for those final two wild card spots. Good win.

And in Stockton, Rittich w/24 saves and a shut out. Gillies not even on the bench - is he hurt again? Carroll seems to be having a good run of late - this evening a goal and 3 shots. I still hope this kid surprises somehow.

Poirier also doing well. Klimchuk w/3 SOG's. Lomberg w/an assist (I like Lomberg). Shinkaruk not playing (hurt?)

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#55 Tomas Oppolzer
January 07 2017, 10:45PM
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The GREAT WW wrote:

What a perfect pass by CHUK to spring Frolik.

Chuk is a BEAST!

WW

And Frolik with a nice move to score. But I forgot, you're incapable of giving Frolik and Backlund their due.

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#56 Aadvarkian Abakeneezer
January 07 2017, 10:48PM
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Jakethesnail wrote:

Watch the replay of the Hathaway hit and that is just the same as a slewfoot.

How? There's a solid argument to be made that Hathaway got his hands up too high, but I can't for the life of me see any slew foot.

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#57 The GREAT WW
January 07 2017, 10:58PM
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Tomas Oppolzer wrote:

And Frolik with a nice move to score. But I forgot, you're incapable of giving Frolik and Backlund their due.

Backlund was horrible tonight....

WW

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#58 Arminius
January 07 2017, 11:03PM
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Jakethesnail wrote:

Are we going to get sucked in that easy. All season long we have been saying the same thing after a goalie plays well then crucify him the next night!

I haven't seen that. They've each had their ups and downs but Tree has improved the Nets!

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#59 Torchy
January 07 2017, 11:08PM
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@Derzie

Alright then, what should the Flames be doing?

And this "break even with the Nucks is a loss by any measure" chest pounding is melodramatic nonsense. What should they have done, tackled Miller?

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#60 Jakethesnail
January 08 2017, 04:09AM
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Aadvarkian Abakeneezer wrote:

How? There's a solid argument to be made that Hathaway got his hands up too high, but I can't for the life of me see any slew foot.

Look again with an open mind. Hathaway's legs are directly behind the Vancouver players legs when he drives him into the boards.

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