Game Preview: Flames vs Vancouver Canucks

CALGARY FLAMES (35-29-16 86 points) vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (50-21-9 109 points) GAME 81

 

PREVIEW:

Another painful season is slowly coming to an end as the Flames will play their second last game tonight against their division rivals, the Vancouver Canucks. This will be the sixth and final meeting between the clubs and the second in just 6 days when the Canucks beat the Flames 3-2 in OT. The Canucks have dominated the Flames the last couple of seasons with a 10-1-2 record in their last 13 contests and are 5-0-1 in their last six visits to the Saddledome. The Flames will look to play spoilers as the Canucks are in the heat of the battle for both first place in the West and the President’s Trophy.

The Flames will play their final two games at home and better play with some pride to say thank you to their fans. Alex Tanguay and David Moss will both miss tonight’s game and could miss the final game on Saturday as well. Lance Bouma will draw back into the line-up, centering the Flames fourth line, while the Flames called-up Akim Aliu from Abbotsford. Aliu will make his Flames debut tonight, playing along with Matt Stajan and Mike Cammalleri. Aliu was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 30th and has appeared in 40 games for the Heat, scoring 10 goals and adding 4 assists.

The Canucks are the hottest team in the league, centering tonight’s match-up on a seven game winning streak. The Canucks are currently two points up on the St. Louis Blues for 1st in the West and are tied with the Rangers with 109 points for 1st overall in the league and the President’s Trophy.  Roberto Luongo, who has started every game against the Flames this season (3-1-1 1.56 GAA), will once again get the start tonight after getting pulled and booed by Canucks fans, in the Canucks 5-4 victory over Anaheim on Tuesday.

It’s time the Flames stepped up and gave their fans something to cheer about. After the Canucks officially knocked out the Flames with their OT victory on Saturday, the least the Flames could do is return the favor and put a dent in the Canucks chase for 1st in the West and the President’s Trophy. Tonight will be the second last chance for fans to see this Flames current roster which could see major overhaul this summer. Stay tuned to TCL-West for everything Flames over the summer.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Canucks:

1- GLENCROSS-JOKINEN-IGINLA                             1- LAPIERRE-H.SEDIN-BURROWS

2- CAMMALLERI-STAJAN-ALIU                                  2- RAYMOND-KESLER-BOOTH

3- COMEAU-JONES-STEMPNIAK                               3- HIGGINS-PAHLSSON-HANSEN

4- KOSTOPOULOS-BOUMA-JACKMAN                      4- EBBETT-MALHOLTRA-KASSIAN

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-BUTLER                                      1- HAMHUIS-TANEV

2- GIORDANO-SARICH                                                2- EDLER-GRAGNANI

3- BABCHUK-HANNAN                                                 3- SALO-ALBERTS

 

1- KIPRUSOFF                                                              1- LUONGO

2- KARLSSON                                                               2- SCHNEIDER

 

EXTRA-                                                                          EXTRA- WEISE, BITZ

 

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Alex Tanguay (Day-to-Day), RW David Moss (Day-to-Day), D- Derek Smith (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), D- T.J Brodie (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), C- Mikael Backlund (Upper Body- IR)

Canucks: D- Kevin Bieksa (Undisclosed- Day-to-Day), LW- Daniel Sedin (Head- Day-to-Day), D- Aaron Rome (Sprained Knee- Out Indefinitely), D- Keith Ballard (Headaches- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

J. Iginla                     

80

32

34

66

-9

O. Jokinen

80

22

38

61

-12

A. Tanguay

64

13

36

49

7

C Glencross

65

25

22

47

-13

M. Cammalleri

64

18

20

38

-14

 

Canucks

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

H. Sedin

80

13

67

80

25

D. Sedin

72

30

37

67

14

A. Burrows

78

27

23

50

25

A. Edler

80

11

38

49

2

R. Kesler

75

22

26

48

10

 

PP-

Flames: 18.2% (13th)

Canucks: 20.0% (4th)

PK-

Flames: 84.0% (9th)

Canucks: 85.7% (6th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. Y- VANCOUVER

80

50

21

9

109

2. Y- ST. LOUIS

80

48

21

11

107

3. LOS ANGELES

80

40

27

13

93

4. X- DETROIT

80

48

27

5

101

5. X- NASHVILLE

80

46

26

8

100

6. CHICAGO

80

44

26

10

98

7. PHOENIX

80

40

27

13

93

8. SAN JOSE           

80

41

29

10

92

 

9. DALLAS

80

42

33

5

89

10. COLORADO

80

41

33

6

88

11. CALGARY

80

35

29

16

86

12. MINNESOTA

80

34

35

11

79

13. ANAHEIM

80

33

35

12

78

14. EDMONTON

80

32

39

9

73

15. COLUMBUS

80

27

46

7

61

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Last ten games: Flames 2-4-4, Canucks 8-1-1
  • Akim Aliu won’t just be making his Flames debut, but also his NHL debut. Aliu has worked hard since being drafted in the second round in 2007 by the Chicago Blackhawks. Aliu has had trips in the ECHL and the AHL before finally making it to the NHL tonight.
  • The Flames have won just one game in their last nine games going 1-4-4 during the stretch.
  • The Flames, who will miss the post-season for the third consecutive season, will miss out on posting a 40-win season for the eighth consecutive season.
  • The Canucks haven’t won eight straight since their longest winning streak from Dec. 23, 2010-Jan. 7, 2011.
  • Canucks defensemen Alexander Edler leads all players with 6 points in the season series against the Flames
  • This will be the 245th time the Flames and Canucks have battled all-time. The Flames lead the all-time series, 116-90-38.

 

GAME DAY QUOTE:

"We still have a lot of pride and we still want to play, it was not the season we were looking for, but there are people here spending a lot of money to watch the game. We're going to try to put on the best show possible."

– Flames forward Alex Tanguay

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon

 

For a limited time, head over to Grinder Threads for $15 off our patented TCL-inspired hoodies! You won't find anything softer or more comfortable than this one of a kind shirt, 80% cotton, 20% polyester for that perfect fit. Just use the code "TCL" for the discount.