Sven Baertschi is tied for second in scoring for the Abbotsford Heat, with two goals in three games. - Nick Laham
Previewing the closest thing you're going to get to a Flames-Canucks showdown for the foreseeable future.
Well, it looks like it has indeed come to this.
With NHL games now cancelled up until November 1st, the baby Flames are taking centre stage for the time being as they take on the Chicago Wolves tonight live on Sportsnet in what will probably be the closest thing we're going to get to a Flames-Canucks rivalry for some time.
The Heat opened their season last weekend with back-to-back wins over the Peoria Rivermen. Heat goalie Danny Taylor backstopped the team in both wins while Sven Baertschi collected two goals and two assists as Abby outscored their opponents 10-3.
Tonight, the Heat square off against the Chicago Wolves and will attempt to even the score after falling to the Canucks' affiliate 3-2 in a shootout last night. Roman Horak and Tyler Ruegsegger scored in regulation for the Heat, but goals from Jordan Schroeder, Darren Haydar, and Zack Kassian in the shootout propelled the Wolves to a win.
One alarming trend that seems to have emerged early on with this year's iteration of the Heat is penalties. The team has racked up 52 PIMS in just three games so far this season (a good chunk of which Akim Aliu was responsible for in game one), but surprisingly have yet to allow a powerplay goal. Abbotsford's powerplay also sits at the top of the league through three games, operating at 38% efficiency.
Although the sample size is extremely small, the Heat have only been outshot by a relatively significant margin in one game thus far, which bodes well for Troy Ward's squad, but their luck on special teams will likely only hold up for so long.
I'll update this thread with any lineup notes closer to game time, which is 10PM ET (8PM MST) on Sportsnet.