Game Preview: Flames vs Vancouver Canucks

CALGARY FLAMES (0-2-0 0 points) vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (0-1-1 1 points) GAME 3

 

PREVIEW:

Heading into Vancouver to face the Canucks, the Flames and the Canucks share one main goal, get their first win of the season. Both teams have got off to sluggish starts as they are winless in their first two games. While the Flames have battled inconsistency, the Canucks have been surrounded by their never ending goalie conundrum between Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo. One team will get on track tonight, while the other will be digging a deeper hole.

The Flames had another disappointing loss Monday night as they fell to the Anaheim Ducks 5-4. After a slow start where the Flames found themselves down 3-0 in the first ten minutes, the Flames showed some resiliency and battled back to tie things up at three. Ultimately, the Flames couldn’t complete the comeback and saw their record fall to 0-2-0 on the season.

It is not all bad news around Flames camp as both Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka are back in Calgary and will be in the line-up Saturday night when the Flames host their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. Hudler and Cervenka will hopefully add some much needed depth and scoring punch up front.

The Canucks come into tonight’s game off of two days’ rest after losing to the Oilers in a shootout on Sunday night. Fans in Vancouver are not happy with the Canucks 0-1-1 start and with their goaltending controversy; it has been a tough start for the Canucks. General Manager Mike Gillis stirred the pot yesterday, reporting that he has a potential deal in place for Luongo. As nice as it is for Alain Vigneault to have two ‘number one’ goalies, the Canucks need help elsewhere in their line-up and the quicker Gillis figures out the Luongo situation, the quicker the Canucks will get back in contention. Ryan Kesler and David Booth are both out for an extended period with shoulder and groin injuries respectively  

Schneider will be back in net for the Canucks tonight, while Miikka Kiprusoff will once again get the start for the Flames.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Canucks:

1- CAMMALLERI-BACKLUND-IGINLA                        1- D.SEDIN-H.SEDIN-KASSIAN

2- GLENCROSS-TANGUAY-STEMPNIAK                   2- HIGGINS-BURROWS-HANSEN

3- BAERTSCHI-STAJAN-COMEAU                             3- RAYMOND-SCHROEDER-WEISE

4- HORAK-JONES-JACKMAN                                     4- VOLPATTI-MALHOLTRA-LAPIERRE

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                                1- ELDER-HAMHUIS

2- WIDEMAN-BRODIE                                                 2- GARRISON- BIEKSA

3- SARICH-SMITH                                                       3- BALLARD-TANEV

 

1- KIPRUSOFF                                                             1- SCHNEIDER

2- IRVING                                                                     2- LUONGO

 

EXTRA- BEGIN, BUTLER                                          EXTRA- ALBERTS, EBBETT, BARKER

 

INJURIES:

Flames: D- Anton Babchuk (Shoulder- Out indefinitely), C- Roman Cervenka (Blood clot- Out indefinitely), RW- Jiri Hudler (Bereavement List)

Canucks: C- Ryan Kesler (Shoulder- IR), LW- David Booth (Groin- IR), RW- Steve Pinizzotto (Groin- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

C. Glencross

2

2

1

3

-2

L. Stempniak

2

2

0

2

E

A. Tanguay

2

1

1

2

-2

D. Wideman

2

0

2

2

-1

M. Backlund

2

0

1

1

-2

 

Canucks

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Edler

2

2

1

3

E

D. Sedin

2

1

2

3

-1

J. Hansen

2

0

2

2

E

H. Sedin

2

0

2

2

1

D. Hamhuis

2

1

0

1

-2

 

PP-

Flames: 50.0% (4th)

Canucks: 22.2% (18th)

 

PK-

Flames: 75.0% (19th)

Canucks: 42.9% (30th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

3

3

0

0

6

2. SAN JOSE

2

2

0

0

4

3. MINNESOTA

3

2

1

0

4

4. ANAHEIM

2

2

0

0

4

5. DALLAS

3

2

1

0

4

6. ST. LOUIS

3

2

1

0

4

7. NASHVILLE

3

1

0

2

4

8. COLUMBUS

2

1

0

1

3

 

9. COLORADO

2

1

1

0

2

10. EDMONTON

2

1

1

0

2

11. DETROIT

3

1

2

0

2

12. VANCOUVER

2

0

1

1

1

13. PHOENIX

2

0

2

0

0

14. CALGARY

2

0

2

0

0

15. LOS ANGELES

2

0

2

0

0

 

MY TAKE:

As frustrating as it has been to watch the Flames these first two games, it is only two games and even in a short 48 game season, it is not a time to panic. At the same time the Flames have to get themselves on the right track sooner than later and it would be a great start to get on that track tonight versus the hated Canucks.

Three of the Flames four goals on Monday night, were putting pucks on net, nothing pretty. Curtis Glencross’s two goals on the power play were great tips but it just showed going to the net and getting traffic is a good way to be successful. More of that will be needed tonight.

Head coach Bob Hartley has shuffled the lines and other than moving Sven Baertschi down to the third line, I like what he has done with the top two lines. It’s time for Mike Cammalleri to get going, as I feel he has been the worst Flame in the first two games, and hopefully putting him on the top line with Jarome Iginla will get re-generate some of that chemistry they had four seasons ago when Cammalleri scored 39 goals.

The Flames will be in tough as the Canucks always seem to bring their ‘A’ game in this heated rivalry. Consistency and playing a full sixty minutes will be key for the Flames if they want to end their two game slide and break the zero in the win column.

When I look at the Flames schedule, I feel we should see who the real Flames are going to be this season on January 31st when they host the Avalanche. They play the Oilers Saturday and then have four days off before that game, where they should have plenty of time to practice and understand the system Hartley wants them to play.

Let’s hope for a Peter Maher ‘You can put it in the win column’ at the end of tonight’s game.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon

2 Comments

Derrick Newman's picture

Im with you in that they need a good four days of practice to get the system down. At the same time, they cant afford to go 0-4...

NickSymon's picture

yea good point... 0-4 would be a disaster