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FGD 53: A clash with the Canucks (7pm MT, SN West)

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Tonight, live from the palatial Scotiabank Saddledome, it’s the 53rd game of the Calgary Flames’ (23-26-3, 49 points) season when they host the Vancouver Canucks (21-27-3, 45 points). It’s the first of four in a row for the Flames against Vancouver to close the regular season out, and the locals are hoping to set the table for a much more successful 2021-22 campaign.
The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet West (and the national feed) or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
For a view from the other side, visit the fine folks over at Canucks Army!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Lucic – Ryan – Dube
Nordstrom – Backlund – Mangiapane
Leivo – Gawdin – Ritchie
Giordano – Tanev
Nesterov – Andersson
Kylington – Stone
Jacob Markstrom is tonight’s starter, backed up by Louis Domingue. The healthy active extras are Byron Froese, Buddy Robinson and Juuso Valimaki. (Adam Ruzicka is skating with the main group but not on the main roster.)
The Flames have shut down Sean Monahan for the season due to a hip malady, so now we get a longer look at Glenn Gawdin (and a look at Derek Ryan higher up the rotation). Aside from the return of Josh Leivo after over a month off – due to scratches and a COVID-19 infection – and we’ll see if he’s rusty or if he can find a nice niche on that new-look fourth line.

The Canucks

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Hoglander – Miller – Boeser
Pearson – Horvat – Highmore
Michaelis – Graovac – Hawryluk
Vesey – Boyd – MacEwen
Edler – Schmidt
Hughes – Myers
Rathbone – Hamonic
Thatcher Demko starts for the Canucks, backed up by Braden Holtby. Their active extras are Tyler Motte, Jalen Chatfield and Olli Juolevi.
If you’re the type that wonders why we’re playing these games – the integrity of the schedule, contractual obligations and the livelihoods of behind-the-scenes people are the primary reasons – spare a thought for the Canucks. They’ve had a decade of bad news crammed into one season and they’re probably just hoping to get some reps for their youngsters in these next few games without anybody suffering any injuries. Their crew is already short a lot of really talented hockey players.

The numbers

CalgaryVancouver
Wins2321
Points (%)49 (.471)45 (.441)
Adjusted Corsi For52.6%45.6%
Expected Goals53.2%45.3%
Power Play19.4%17.1%
Penalty Kill80.5%78.2%

Talkin’ lottery

The Flames cannot finish lower than Buffalo, Anaheim, New Jersey, Detroit, Columbus or San Jose. They cannot finish higher than, among non-playoff teams, Philadelphia, Dallas or the NY Rangers.
A win tonight cements the Flames as ahead of both Los Angeles and Ottawa, too. As of right now, it’s looking like the Flames will head into the draft lottery with the 11th-best odds at a lottery pick.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Noah Hanifin and Sean Monahan.
The Canucks are without Micheal Ferland, Justin Bailey, Elias Pettersson, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel and Brandon Sutter (Darryl’s nephew).

When last we met

The Flames are 4-2-1 against Vancouver so far this season. After tonight, they meet three more times.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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