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Beginning of the twist: Flames vs Vancouver Canucks preview (1/82)

Real proper hockey with two points as a prize for the winners.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames - 8pm MT

Sportsnet West (TV), Sportsnet 960 The Fan (radio)

It's the end of pre-season. It's the beginning of a new season. It's the beginning of the twist.

Finally, we have a game that matters. Finally, we have some hockey of consequence. Welcome back old friend, it's been too long.

The teams have changed since that famous playoff series in April - mostly the Canucks. Gone is the legend of Eddie Lack, the Ferland-fearing Kevin Bieksa, Shawn Matthias, Nick Bonino and Zack Kassian. In have come Matt Bartkowski, Brandon Sutter, and Brandon Prust. They'll look slightly different, but still be cursed with being Canucks.

Season leaders (2014/15 regular season)
Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks
45-30-7 2014/15 48-29-5
146-118-33 Overall Vs 118-146-33
2-1-1 2014/15 Vs 2-2-0
24 Season Goal Difference 16
Time On Ice/Game
Mark Giordano (25:02) Defence Alexander Edler (23:52)
Sean Monahan (19:38) Offence Henrik Sedin (18:22)
Sean Monahan (31)
Jiri Hudler (31)
Goals Radim Vrbata (31)
Jiri Hudler (45) Assists Daniel Sedin (56)
Jiri Hudler (76) Points Daniel Sedin (76)
Special Teams
18.82 Powerplay% 19.33
48 Powerplay Goals For 46
Sean Monahan (10) PPG Leader Radim Vrbata (12)
80.65 Penalty Kill % 85.71
36 PK Goals Conceded 38
6 Shorthanded Goals For 6
Sean Monahan (191) Shots On Goal Radim Vrbata (267)
Jiri Hudler (19.6) Shot % Sven Baertschi (50)
Faceoff Leaders (min. 10 games)
Joe Colborne (52.38) FO% Bo Horvat (51.42)
Johnny Gaudreau (64.24) ZSO% Radim Vrbata (63.54)
Brandon Bollig (88) PIM Derek Dorsett (175)
Lance Bouma (264) Hits Christopher Tanev (192)
Kris Russell (283) Blocked Shots Christopher Tanev (170)
5v5 Corsi/Fenwick
(min. 10mins per game played, min. 10 games)
David Schlemko (52.99/19GP)
Mark Giordano (48.44/61GP)
Corsi For % Henrik Sedin (54.1/82GP)
Daniel Sedin (53.32/82GP)
David Schlemko (57.2/19GP)
Josh Jooris (49.44/60GP)
Fenwick For % Henrik Sedin (54.67/82GP)
Alex Burrows (53.84/70GP)
Save percentage
Jonas Hiller (91.79/52GP)
Karri Ramo (91.2/34GP)
All Situations % Ryan Miller (91.08/45GP)
Eddie Lack (92.09/41GP)
Jonas Hiller (92.71/52GP)
Karri Ramo (91.85/34GP)
Even Strength
5 on 5 %
Ryan Miller (91.41/45GP)
Eddie Lack (92.09/41GP)

Don't I know you?

Sven Baertschi used to play for the Flames, as did Brandon Prust. Chris Higgins used to be a Flame, but as he's on the IR at present it is unlikely he'll be involved tonight. Mason Raymond used to play for the Canucks, but as he was waived (although later recalled) its unlikely he'll be on the ice tonight.

Projected lines

  • With T.J. Brodie, Ladislav Smid and Joe Colborne on the injured reserve, there's not much flexibility available to the Flames for the starting roster.
  • Jiri Hudler is expected to overcome an illness which saw him miss Monday's skate.
  • Karri Ramo was confirmed as the starter on Monday, with Jonas Hiller backing him up. Joni Ortio will watch from the press box.
  • Tonight sees Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik make their competitive Flames debuts.
  • Finally, look out for Brett Kulak, who caps a sensational year by making the opening night lineup.

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund Michael Frolik
Micheal Ferland Sam Bennett Josh Jooris
Brandon Bollig Matt Stajan David Jones
Left Defence Right Defence
Mark Giordano Dougie Hamilton
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Brett Kulak Deryk Engelland
Karri Ramo (s) Jonas Hiller

  • As for the Canucks, only Chris Higgins is a confirmed absentee. He is on the IR, and is the only Canuck to be so.
  • Brandon Sutter is expected to join the Sedins on the top line, leaving Radim Vrbata with Bo Horvat and...Sven? He must have made a good pre-season impression.
  • Another training camp selection is Ben Hutton, who impressed enough to claim a starting spot and condemn Frank Corrado to being claimed from waivers by the Leafs. Jake Virtanen started the pre-season well but doesn't seem to have done enough to start the season.
  • Ryan Miller gets the start, so expect to see many fans on Twitter plead for the return of Lack, even if Miller is on fire.
Vancouver Canucks
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Brandon Sutter
Sven Baertschi Bo Horvat Radim Vrbata
Alexandre Burrows Jared McCann Jannik Hansen
Brandon Prust Adam Cracknell Derek Dorsett
Left Defence Right Defence
Alexander Edler Christopher Tanev
Dan Hamhuis Matt Bartkowski
Ben Hutton Luca Sbisa
Ryan Miller (s) Jacob Markstrom

Join us in the gamethread, where we'll be reminiscing about April.