The Flames and Canucks face off for the fifth and final time this season and we’ve asked writers from both FlamesNation and CanucksArmy to give us their take on tonight’s matchup. As always, we’ve also put together a few quick stats to get you ready for the final meeting between this two teams.
Please note that this article was posted at both FlamesNation and CanucksArmy.
Saturday, February 18th, 2017 – Rogers Arena (Vancouver) – 7:00pm (PST)/8:00pm (MST) on Hockey Night in Canada
|Calgary Flames||Vancouver Canucks|
|29-26-3 (4th in the Pacific)||25-27-6 (6th in the Pacific)|
|5-5-0 in their last 10||3-7-0 in their last 10|
|Power Play (PP%): 20.4%||Power Play (PP%): 15.3%|
|Penalty Kill (PK%): 80.8%||Penalty Kill (PK%): 78.6%|
|Goal Differential: -13||Goal Differential: -30|
For the final time this season, the Flames and Canucks will square off in what amounts to being the rubber match in the season series. Prior to tonight’s game, the home team has taken the victory in all four contests and it will be interesting to see if the trend will continue tonight in Vancouver. As both teams continue their playoff push, these four point, inter-division games become crucial if either side hopes to make the second season.
Bo Horvat (VAN) – 18G, 21A = 39 points
Mikael Backlund (CAL) – 15G, 24A = 39 points
Matthew Tkachuk (CAL) – 11G, 25A = 36 points
Sean Monahan (CAL) – 19G, 16A = 35 points
Henrik Sedin (VAN) – 12G, 23A = 35 points
Daniel Sedin (VAN) – 12G, 20A = 32 points
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Why is your team going to win or why will your enemy lose?
The Flames are in the midst of the playoff chase, and they have pretty much no margin for error at this point. This is the start of a lengthy road trip right before the trade deadline; these are the games that could very well make or break their season right now. And they know it. And they have the talent to pull it off – it’s just a matter of actually following through, now.
The Canucks have this nasty habit of playing their best hockey when the odds are against them. According to SportClubStats, they’ve a 2% chance of making the playoffs, so they haven’t much ground to surrender. This is their Alamo.
Who’s hot? Who’s not?
Brian Elliott is coming off of his best game of the season, and he looked a lot more like the Elliott from St. Louis. Matthew Tkachuk, as a rookie, is second in team scoring, and his linemates – especially scoring leader Mikael Backlund – certainly aren’t slouches. Sam Bennett is someone who really needs to get going, though.
The Canucks only representative at the All-Star Game, Bo Horvat, is producing like a legitimate first line centre, playing third line minutes. Imagine a world where he plays more than Brandon Sutter. Wouldn’t that be neat? I’ve heard good things about that Markus Granlund guy, too.
Why should people watch this game?
It’s a rivalry game! Between two teams desperately battling for playoff relevancy. What’s not to love about that? Also, it’ll be Matt Bartkowski’s first game as a Flame… versus his old team. Now that’s drama, or something.
If you’re a Canucks fan, you get to see the return of Matt Bartkowski. Hard to believe he’s made it back to the big leagues after the season he had. If you’re a Flames fan, you get to see the debut of Bartkowski. Uh… Good luck with that.
Say something nice about your opponent.
I still like Sven.
We still like Sven.
Any last words?
Maybe Olli Juolevi works out for you guys, but damn, thanks for taking him and leaving Tkachuk up for grabs.
Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund are fifth and sixth respectively in scoring for the Canucks. Crazy to think the Canucks acquired the pair without surrendering an actual NHL player. Sure, Tkachuk’s great, but it’s not like we passed on him for magic beans.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Join in the conversation on Twitter at @CanucksArmy and @FlamesNation to give us your thoughts on the game. Social media not your thing? Keep the battle going in the game day articles at CanucksArmy.com and FlamesNation.ca.