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

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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  • MontanaMan

    Tre is always a wildcard when it comes to trades and he’s one of the few GM’s who has the stones to make a big trade. I’m predicting a huge trade with Ottawa with multiple players and draft picks, including Stone from the Sens.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      Not likely getting Mark Stone. Good character guy will re-sign there in Ott to be Captain for years. I can see and hope for speedy Dzingel but may need to give up Bennett or Janko to make it work so we can re-sign The Dzinger at $4M for 5 years in summer after Cup win.

    • Kevin R

      Yeah you cant help but feel like if Tre trades for a high end rental like Stone, the trade will be structured to allow him to resign him. Ironically, Neal doesnt have a NTC so he definitely could be a piece sent back to offset some salary.

  • SgtRoadBlock

    This is why we don’t go all in for the playoffs…. we r 1- 3 vs the Nucks we be out in the 1st round of the playoff is we got them…This Feb is going to Show us the Real Flames…


    • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

      In the three games Vancouver has beaten us we’ve outshot them 115-75. Markstrom standing on his head is the only reason we haven’t pumped them in all four. Vancouver will NEVER make the playoffs, they’re a bad team that just has a goalie stealing wins right now. All metrics have them bottom three in the league.

      • SgtRoadBlock

        This Van team you say that will never make the playoffs… but we can’t even beat them when it counts.so let’s toss away more picks for a Rental player that will fix this team powerplay and etc… lol

        • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

          Vancouver isn’t in a playoffs spot and they will never be. They’ve played three more games than St. Louis who is twice the team. Not to mention we would beat them in the playoffs because we have DOMINATED them all year outside of fluky goaltending, which won’t last forever. We should have won 7-3 tonight outside of Markstrom lucking out of his mind it would have been over in the second period.

  • buts

    I’m very surprised where the nucks are at in the standings. Pettersson was so good last game he played against us….anticipation was Gretzky like. I’m hoping they don’t win but no matter who we play we gotta tighten up defensively starting especially with “sweeper, no hit” Brodie.

  • 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.

  • 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! ?

  • Flamesforever

    Good news. There’s no shootout in the playoffs. We will be fine guys.. some of you turn so quickly after a close loss like that? And you call yourselves fans? Come on guys we are first in the west. GFG ? stoked Mangi scores his first goal.

  • 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.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    Man we still have some questions in net, Dave has been declining for about a month now and smith is …. smith….. not sure we will do anything this year but maybe in the off season

    • THE WW Bandwagon

      That’s what I said but apparently the all knowing Cfan in Van thinks its nothing and I’m just attacking the team.
      BDS declined like this last year.

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        I’ve looked at Rittich’s numbers in depth game by game last year. His declined last year has been greatly over-exaggerated. If you look he had a tiny dip last year in February, but it was honestly one or two bad games. Outside of that he’s basically been a 0.914+ goalie for us for his entire time as a Calgary Flame. Everyone remembers it as a dip because we couldn’t score a goal and we were hemorrhaging wins because of awful coaching, but Rittich barley faltered if at all. Mike Smith at that same time was horrid by the way.

    • Brian McGrattan's Salute

      Are you kidding me?? He went from a 9.26 to a 9.19 prior to last game, and started today at a 9.16 despite giving up two and only stopping 4. And his numbers are still great! Seriously this site is so moody

  • Franko J

    Markstrom and Pettersson are the difference makers in the game again. Just like last season the Flames are coming out of their break in a funk. I just hope that the team doesn’t implode like last year.

  • The Sultan

    Glad to see the Flames once again fail to win a big game. Number one priority should he a new goaltender. Why can’t anybody score in a shootout? And do Monahan and Gaidreau know any other move but go for the five hole?