Calgary Flames Game Day 80: A very important game against the Canucks (8pm MT, CBC/City/SNW/960)

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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It’s the final Hockey Night in Canada of the season! It’s the Calgary Flames (37-27-15, 89 points) visiting the Vancouver Canucks (35-36-7, 77 points) with the Flames’ playoff lives in the balance! It’s two historical rivals – who do not particularly like each other – locking horns one last time this season on national TV.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, City TV Sportsnet West (and the national feed) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
For a view from the other side, check out Canucks Army!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Backlund – Mangiapane
Ritchie – Kadri – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Stecher
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Michael Stone, Dennis Gilbert, Matt Coronato, Adam Ruzicka and Jakob Pelletier.
The Flames are very much in the playoff mix, but they need to keep finding ways to win hockey games and they need to get some help from elsewhere, to boot. What they can control, though, is what they do. They were really good against Winnipeg, playing tight, structured 200-foot hockey. If they pull off three more of those performances, they’ll be well-positioned to potentially play past Game 82.
Keep an eye on Mikael Backlund, who always seemed amped up against the Canucks, and Walker Duehr, who’s been superb in a supporting role lately.

The Canucks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Kravtsov – Pettersson – Garland
Di Giuseppe – Miller – Boeser
Joshua – Aman – Studnicka
Kuzmenko – Dries – Beauvillier
Hughes – Burroughs
Hirose – Myers
Bear – McWard
We’re projecting Thatcher Demko to start in net, backed up by Collin Delia. The projected extra skaters are Aidan McDonough, Vasily Podkolzin, Guillaume Brisebois, Noah Juulsen and Christian Wolanin.
We think we know two things about this game: the Canucks will wear their awesome black skate jersey, and they’re going to be motivated to spoil the Flames’ playoff hopes after letting their previous meeting slip away in the late stages of that game. They’re a team playing for jobs next season, and they’re playing without the weight of expectations; that makes them incredibly dangerous to the Flames.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Canucks are without Micheal Ferland, Tucker Poolman, Tanner Pearson, Travis Dermott, Ilya Mikheyev, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Filip Hronek.

The playoff race

Here’s where things sit as Saturday’s game begins.
  • The Flames are one point ahead of Nashville (for ninth place), but Nashville has one game in hand.
  • The Flames are tied in points behind Winnipeg (for the final wild-card spot), but Winnipeg has one game in hand.
The Flames’ elimination number is 3. Any combination of Flames losses or Winnipeg wins totalling 3 eliminates Calgary from playoff contention. The Flames’ magic number is 4.5. Any combination of Flames wins or Winnipeg losses totalling 4.5 eliminates the Jets from playoff contention.

The numbers

89 (.563)Points (%)77 (.494)

Head to head

This is the season series finale between these clubs. In their previous three games, the Flames have five points (regulation win, overtime win and shootout loss) and the Canucks have three points (regulation loss, overtime loss and shootout win).

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