FGD 54: Late night hockey in Vancouver (8:30pm MT, SN1/360)

Photo credit:Bob Frid/USA Today Sports
Ryan Pike
2 years ago
It’s the final road trip of the 2020-21 campaign for the Calgary Flames (24-26-3, 51 points) head to scenic British Columbia for the first of two final road games with the Vancouver Canucks (22-28-3, 47 points). The Canucks played Saturday afternoon in Edmonton and flew home, and this is part of their insane schedule to play out their season.
The puck drops just after 8:30 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet One and 360 or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. It’s a very late game. On a Sunday.
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
Dube – Backlund – Mangaipane
Lucic – Ryan – Leivo
Simon – Ruzicka – Ritchie
Giordano – Tanev
Mackey – Andersson
Valimaki – Stone
The starting goalie for tonight is unclear, though it’s likely either Jacob Markstrom or Louis Domingue. The active extras appear to be Joakim Nordstrom, Glenn Gawdin, Byron Froese, Buddy Robinson, Oliver Kylington and Nikita Nesterov. Based on practice, we’re expecting Dominik Simon, Adam Ruzicka, Connor Mackey and Juuso Valimaki to slot in. If so, it’ll be Adam Ruzicka’s NHL debut.
The Flames are hoping to get some looks at their youngsters, as well as try to keep instilling good habits into their group. It’s a game with draft implications in the standings, and implications for individual players hoping to cement jobs going forward.

The Canucks

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Hoglander – Miller – Boeser
Pearson – Horvat – Highmore
Michaelis – Graovac – Hawryluk
Vesey – Boyd – MacEwen
Edler – Hamonic
Hughes – Myers
Rathbone – Chatfield
Braden Holtby starts for the Canucks, backed up by Thatcher Demko. Their active extras are Tyler Motte, Nate Schmidt and Olli Juolevi. We’ll probably see some lineup shuffles after Vancouver played yesterday in Edmonton.
The Canucks played well in Edmonton and won! They’re on the back half of a back-to-back, with travel, and are likely exhausted at this point of their hellacious post-COVID schedule. But even with exhaustion, they’ve played quite well at times. They won’t just roll over for the Flames.

The numbers

Points (%)51 (.481)47 (.443)
Adjusted Corsi For52.6%45.6%
Expected Goals53.2%45.3%
Power Play19.5%16.8%
Penalty Kill80.6%78.5%

Talkin’ lottery

The Flames cannot finish lower than Buffalo, Anaheim, New Jersey, Detroit, Columbus, San Jose, Los Angeles, Ottawa or Vancouver. They cannot finish higher than, among non-playoff teams, Philadelphia, Dallas or the NY Rangers.
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. With a couple wins, they’ll pass Arizona (who have forfeited their pick) and Chicago and have the 13th-best odds.

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 5-2-1 against Vancouver so far this season. After tonight, they meet two more times.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

Check out these posts...