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FGD 55: A battle on the west coast (8pm MT, CBC)

Two Canadian teams clash in a potential playoff preview on Hockey Day in Canada. The Calgary Flames (34-15-5, 73 points) head to the coast to visit the surprising Vancouver Canucks (24-24-7, 55 points). A Canucks win would push them into a playoff spot, while a Flames win would push them one step closer to clinching a playoff berth.

The action kicks off at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet One, City TV and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

For a view from the other side, check out Canucks Army!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith. Dalton Prout and Austin Czarnik are the projected healthy scratches

The Flames have lost two of their three games since the All-Star Break. They’ve been in all three games, but they arguably have yet to put together a complete game where all their lines are contributing. Against a team that just seems to get under their skin, expect the Flames to be emotionally invested from the opening puck drop.

The Canucks

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Granlund – Horvat – Leivo
Goldobin – Pettersson – Boeser
Roussel – Sutter – Virtanen
Eriksson – Beagle – Motte

Tanev – Gudbranson
Hutton – Stecher
Pouliot – Biega

Jacob Markstrom starts for Vancouver, backed up by Michael DiPietro. Guillaume Brisebois and Tim Schaller are the projected healthy scratches.

The Canucks have played four games since the break. They beat Colorado in a very one-sided game and have followed that up with three pretty close losses against Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago. They’re a young, inexperienced group that’s full of piss and vinegar, but sometimes can’t quite execute when games are on the line. But they’re a fast, talented team that will be a challenge for the Flames.

The Numbers

CGY VAN
Wins 34 24
Points 73 55
Adjusted Corsi 52.5% 47.2%
Power Play 22.9% 16.8%
Penalty Kill 79.2% 78.9%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone.

The Canucks are without Sven Baertschi, Thatcher Demko and Alexander Edler.

Season Series

This is the third of five games between Calgary and Vancouver. The Flames have a regulation win, an overtime loss and a regulation loss so far. They’ll close out the season series in Vancouver in mid-March.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Canucks Twitter follows for tonight:

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  • Alberta Ice

    I really want to give Ron Maclean and all the cast of many others who are producing and presenting Hockey Day in Canada my thanks. The personal stories and tributes across such this vast land of a very frigid and frosty Canada today, has brought much warmth to those of us watching and listening in. Hockey brings great entertainment but we are all reminded it is just a game with real people and stories being written along that journey. The two different Bronco bus tragedies of 1986 and 2018 remind us to enjoy the moment and appreciate all that we have with one another. Enjoy the games today everyone.

  • Em Durp Em Hrudey

    Am I alone when I say I have seen enough of Mangiapane to say he is not ready yet. I know Czarnik is not lights out, but I do feel he gives you more offensive options then Mangiapane.

    • MontanaMan

      Agree. He has done some things in the A but nothing in the NHL. I don’t see anything from him that impresses me. He’s weak on the puck, loses puck battles and looks a bit lost out there, some of the same things fans say about Czarnik, but for me, I want to see Czarnik get ten consistent games to see what he’s got. Mangi back to the farm.

      • Em Durp Em Hrudey

        It’s funny, in pre season the combo of Tkachuk and Czarnik looked amazing, then Czarnik’s play dropped off drastically. Still better than Mangiapane though.

        • Skylardog

          The preseason was against AHL guys and at half a$$ pace and hitting. As soon as the men started playing, he disappeared.

          Neither Mangi nor Czar should be on this NHL roster, I do however, believe that Mangipane finds a top 6 role on a rebuilding team and has a good run in the NHL. Trade bait.

          • Chucky

            It would be nice of they could get a useful fast physical winger for some combination involving the two of them. Not a big money guy and not a rental but a 25 year old solid bottom 6 guy. 6’3″, 210 lbs., average 10 goals and 13 assists per year, 3 years left on a $2.1 million cap hit.

    • Chucky

      It is pretty obvious that there is something fundamentally wrong with Czarnik and he does not fit with this team. The big question is why is he still on the roster? Certainly he could be put on waivers and make room for someone like Quine at a $500,000 cap space savings.

    • freethe flames

      I would agree with half of this statement. At this point in his career I know where Mangiapne is in his development and it would not bother me in the least to see another forward up from the farm to see what they bring. At 26 I am also sure what Czarnik is not and that is player who can play in the bottom and especially not in the playoffs. He was brought in b/c they thought he could add some O in the top 6 and be a PP specialist; he’s had more opportunity in these roles than Mangiapane has (by the way Mnagiapne’s numbers in the AHL are similar at a younger age) and some others and has not produced. If Czarnik was going to click here he would have done so already. He’s the piece that the Flames need to move on from.

  • Speed Kills

    Taking me 7yr old son to his first Hockey game tonight, He is so excited to go. I searched high and low to get him a Flames T-shirt in Vancouver… Vancouver sucks as far as finding Any Flames gear. But I did find him a generic adult “size Small”(still huge on him, lol) Grey with Flames written on it, although he was hoping for a Gaudreau T or Tkachuk and even said he wouldn’t mind a Giordano T-shirt too (Jerseys are just too dang expensive). Anyways, I really hope the Flames come out to play tonight and put on a clinic for the win. Hope the Van Fans around us aren’t complete obnoxious jerks. Go Flames~!

    • Cfan in Van

      That’s great buddy. Waita get your little guy to his first game. I agree, tickets alone are ridiculous these days, but to put a jersey on top of that is crazy. If you see a guy in old school Flames whites (#39), lookout for high fives coming your way. Enjoy the game!

      • Speed Kills

        Yeah, I think the last game I saw here was … Well, I think Valeri Bure Scored for the Flames in OT… yeah its been a while… I’ll be wearing my “retro” Flames Home (red) #14 Fleury Jersey, although it wasen’t “retro” when I bought it in the 90s..lol Hope to see you and other FNers there! Cheers~!

  • The GREAT WW

    I’m glad the top 3 in the Pacific is tightening up.
    The last thing we need is to coast into the post season not having played a meaningful game in a month.
    This pressure to perform is valuable; More valuable than finishing first in my opinion…..

    WW

    • Luter 1

      Agree WW, forces some of our less intense players to start feeling the playoff atmosphere. Backlund, Frolik, Mony, Brodie all need to step it up. Neal’s ability and contract are absolutely killing us both on the ice and ability to make a playoff move.

    • Chucky

      Ideal situation would be to lock up first place in the west with a win in the game against San Jose March 31. Three games left to rest any bumps and bruises give Stone some playing time if he is healthy and get a few call-ups some icetime.

  • Flamesforever

    Everybody relax. We absolutely outclassed them tonight.. sometimes you have to tip your hat to the goalie, he was spinning like a top all night. Shake it off and get the win in Tampa. That’ll cheer some of you up! ?

      • Cfan in Van

        That’s just it. Grany is ok at a lot of things, but he’s a place holder on that team. Most Canucks fans I’ve talked to are on the fence about Granlund, but you got to give him credit. He wouldn’t have stuck with the Flames for that long, but he’s had a good stretch there, and he’s a good soldier for that team.

    • cjc

      Eh. He was going nowhere on the Flames and they got Shinkaruk (who was doing really well in Utica at the time) in exchange. Shinkaruk didn’t pan out, but the gamble was still worth it.

  • Oil Spilly

    The good news. We aren’t playing a tough team nor are we playing a powerhouse team. So I expect Tkachuk Mony and Hathaway to be at least visible out there tonight. GFG

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      I’d like to see an entire team effort and absolute domination. Of course, I’d like to see that every game . . .

      As many games as they’ve won this year, there’s been very few like that.

  • Korcan

    Lately, the top line has been a bit sluggish, but it feels like the depth scoring is coming around and is hopefully about to break out. Maybe tonight? One can hope. If Neal Bennett and Jankowski can get on a bit of a roll and the 4th line continue to play well that will be huge and may compensate for the lesser production of the 1st line. Frolik and Tkachuk also need to kick it into gear again — they’ve been ‘meh’ these last few games.

  • cgyokgn

    Neal? Why not Lindholm? Well Markstrom won it for the Canucks. I’m starting to worry that the Sharks will overtake us with games against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh looming.

  • The Sultan

    Flames are trash and deserved this loss. Playing down to their opponent. Peters making some questionable decisions the last few games. James Neal is worse than Brouwer and Wideman. Rittich better not collapse again.

  • aye

    Wow! One mini tough stretch and the “fans” are suddenly questioning the coach, goaltending, the D, and everything else in between. Relax, the team deserved better tonight, if they continue to play like tonight they will be just fine!
    Every team go through bad stretches when it seems like everything is going wrong and can’t catch a break, even the good teams. SJS were in a funk before the ASG break, Caps lost 7 straight not long ago and are 3-5-2 in their last 10, TBL is 5-3-2, Jets 5-4-1, PIT 3-6-1, VGK 4-6, and lost tonight, Preds haven’t been dominant, and the list goes on.