SPEAKING WITH THE ENEMY: Flames at Canucks

Spy vs Spy1

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.

THE MATCHUP

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
FlamesNation_white CanucksArmy_white

Tonight:

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. 

Points Leaders:

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

Goaltenders:

Calgary

Player GP GS W L T OT SA GA GAA S Sv% SO MIN
Chad Johnson 32 32 17 13 0 1 882 78 2.55 804 .912 3 1,833
Brian Elliott 29 26 12 13 0 2 756 77 2.79 679 .898 0 1,658

Vancouver

Player GP GS W L T OT SA GA GAA S Sv% SO MIN
Jacob Markstrom 26 23 10 11 0 3 692 62 2.63 630 .910 0 1,417
Ryan Miller 35 35 15 16 0 3 1,097 92 2.65 1,005 .916 3 2,086

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Why is your team going to win or why will your enemy lose?

Ari Yanover (FlamesNation):

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.

J.D. Burke (CanucksArmy):

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?

Ari Yanover:

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.

J.D. Burke:

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?

Ari Yanover:

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.

J.D. Burke:

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.

Ari Yanover:

I still like Sven.

J.D. Burke:

We still like Sven.

Any last words?

Ari Yanover:

Maybe Olli Juolevi works out for you guys, but damn, thanks for taking him and leaving Tkachuk up for grabs.

J.D. Burke:

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

Spy vs Spy computer

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

  • The GREAT WW

    “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.”

    Let’s not get carried away; Granlund and Baertschi have 25 and 27 points respectively….not exactly world beaters.

    Matthew “Lady Byng” Tkachuk has 36 points….

    WW

    • Braindead Benning

      No there not “world beaters”

      But I would presume they are better players now, have more upside and carry a respectable salary then let’s say a Troy Brouwer for example.

      But I agree that the flames got a gem in Tkachuk…. would have taken him over Ollie any day

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Off topic but in some ways relates to both Vancouver and Calgary Fans… I went to the Lethbridge Hurricanes vs. the Victoria Royals game last night. Lethbridge won 5-4 in Overtime. That Matthew Phillips… it was almost like watching another Gaudreau in the making. There are so many similarities. I’ll name a few:

    – He can dip, dive and deak on dime
    – He has a knack for finding open ice, lay in the soft pass or sweet feed
    – Clearly he’s tiny… like smaller than Johnny
    – The Hurricanes hacked and slashed him all night
    -The Hurricanes attempting to clobber him with the big hit all night but could never quite pull it off.

    He scored with 5 seconds left in the 1st period on a sweet take-away. The Lethbridge defender was all by himself in his own zone with all kinds of time to make a play as the period was winding down. The only pressure was from Phillips coming back at him. It’s true the D-man gaffed… he could of passed it up the boards to the left, right, or even back to the goalie but Phillips did a little deak/wobble that through the defender off… then he stole the puck, went in and scored on a breakaway to go up 2-1 with 5 seconds left. It was pretty sweet.

    He also had a few nice cross-ice feeds throughout the night which his line mates couldn’t bury or they bobbled the puck. Kids got skills. Nice 6th round pick.

  • wojohowitz

    The Flames are a lot closer to a cup than the Canucks. With young guys like Gaudreau, Monahan, Bennett and Tkachuk the Flames are half way there.

    A blue chip defenceman, a goalie and some depth and they are there. Where1s Cliff Fletcher when you need him?

  • freethe flames

    A win by the Flames and it is likely Vancouver will indeed be done as the gap may be to wide and the Flames will have won the season series, if the Canucks win they stay alive and will have won the series. So this game is quite important for both clubs. Which Flames team will show up, the one that played so well against the Wild a couple of weeks ago or the one that played against the Yotes last week.

  • defenceman factory

    Sure would like to see Sven playing. He would be up for the game and the Canucks need any edge they can get. Tryamkin has some chores to do tonight.

    Glad to see the young Flames progressing. Backlund has really been impressive. Hopefully the Canucks rebuild catches up quickly. It is up to our two teams to provide Oiler fans what they tragically lack; humility.

    Looking forward to a good game and the eventual return of canadian teams dominating the division.

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    The Flames are a better team than the Canucks right now and have better young players. The Flames need a top 4 dman that hole is big on the defense and Bart is not the answer.The Flames also need some toughness in their top 6 and Tkachuk is not tough he is dirty the next Matt Cooke unfortunately unless he cleans up his act. The highest paid players should be your leaders and outside of Giordano no leadership is coming from the young players.The Flames are in a good position moving forward, the Canucks seem lost not knowing what direction they are going in.

    • defenceman factory

      The Canucks do actually have a plan and everyone who pays any attention knows what it is. Many Canuck fans don’t agree with it and time will tell if it’s a good one. The Canucks plan is different from the Oilers.

      Oilers plan – suck until the best player in a decade falls in your lap. Kinda like winning the lottery and thinking you’re Warren Buffet.

      • Randaman

        The funny thing about the Oilers plan is that after a decade of dispair, we shall enjoy the next decade of being competitive.

        Hmmmm, don’t blame the fans for that. We suffered for a long time with incompetent leadership in place. Not bragging about our situation at all. I’m just enjoying the ride out of pergatory.

        • defenceman factory

          wouldn’t bother explaining. It has been explained ad nauseum. You either aren’t paying attention or you are simple.

          I never said it was a good plan.

    • Trevy

      Typical Oiler dribble…first of all, Bart was NOT brought in to fill the fourth dman spot. It was strictly a move to expose a dman in the expansion draft and in the meantime provide a bit more depth. If they went out and got a legitimate 4th dman, then they risk losing him in the expansion draft. Although toughness is nice, it’s not a necessity in the top 6. I don’t see Chicago or Pitts too worried about toughness in their top 6 and they seem to be doing alright. Comparing Tkachuk to Cooke is just pure foolishness and don’t have the patience to explain why.

      Finally you talk about your highest paid players should be your leaders!? This coming from an Oilers fan that has Nuge, Eberle, Pouliot and the anchor Lucic!? Really!? Mark my words, within 2 yrs, with McDavid, Draisaitl and Maroon, you guys will be in cap hell!

  • The GREAT WW

    The Oilers joke of a schedule continues: tonight they play a Hawks team that has been off for a whole week!!!? (On the first of back to back games for the Hawks)

    What a JOKE!!!!!!

    WW

  • bigdaddykane

    I’m a canucks fan so by necessity i hate all things Flames, due to the playoff history and divisional proximity, like all good rivalries. This is one of the only times i will ever beg flames nation to beat the crap out of the canucks, but for the love of God, please take this canucks team out into a field and put it out of its misery. This is a bad canuck team that has no business competing for a playoff spot and should be competing for a lottery pick. Let’s get the rebuild on, finally. Calgary, bury this team. Put up 5 and shut them out. Convince the Aquilinis to give up the playoff revenue ghost and get the rebuild on. They are old. Slow. Can’t score. Have no depth. The defense isn’t good overall. The offense is hideous. Lets start trading for picks and stop pretending

  • apr

    Pretty pathetic that Flames are using the Nucks as some sort of benchmark when they are 4 years ahead of rebuild. Now flaunting Tkachuk over Juolevi (who has not played yet) because he’s second in team scoring. You have to be a pretty crappy team to rely on a rookie to help you not be in last place.

    • Dirk22

      Please stop. You’re embarrassing us.

      Or maybe to make this educational for you, ask the Flames fans how they felt about having a veteran group trying to ‘compete’ for 8th place for a number of years. You wonder why they’ve taken a while to rebuild as you say. That sound familiar to anyone?

      • Bud Poile

        Stop,Dirk

        The Flames haven’t gone anywhere since the early 80’s and haven’t rebuilt,as you insist.

        37 years is a loooooooooooooong rebuild while Benning is 1.5 years away from a 101 point season.

        • Dirk22

          That’s good Bud. Refer to the 14-15 season – y’know the year the Flames beat us in the playoffs. Mention 37 years which would have included a 1986 Cup win. Well done. On behalf of all the Canucks fans just want to say thanks. You’ve represented us so well today.

        • Peplinski's Thunderbird

          Bud, I’ve read your nonsense (and literally Lol’d) before on CA. You drink so much Kool-Aid, I bet your face is a permanent shade of watermelon pink.

      • apr

        So the Flames approach is the way to go? Why not Sharks who struggled there with Marleau and Thornton for a few years while other guys developed. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. I just find it funny that Flames fans are using the Nucks as a benchmark this year instead of the Oilers. Cripes. Even Oilers fans have predominantly laid off.

  • wojohowitz

    The problem the Flames keep making is over valuing their acquisitions. Bouwmeester and Dougie Hamilton were and are good defencemen but nowhere near all star quality and giving up first round picks for them were mistakes. Brian Elliott is the same mistake made again. Getting the right player is everything and the Flames have not done that. Maybe the next off season the Canucks can ship Guddy to Calgary for their first round pick and that would not surprise me at all.