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Season opener: Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks [GameThread #1]

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At long last! We last saw the Flames play a meaningful game in May; now it's time to start a whole new journey: one that should be even better than ever.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

We're finally here. It's been a long, long time since we saw the Calgary Flames play real, meaningful hockey. A season with no expectations turned into one with playoffs; an offseason full of hope grew as General Manager Brad Treliving made move after move that proved to us he was committed to build on what he already had.

The status quo wasn't acceptable. To chance regression was undesirable. So the Flames went out. They got Dougie Hamilton, they got Michael Frolik. Sam Bennett looks to be a regular NHLer for the first time this season; Micheal Ferland looks to build on his playoff heroics. The Flames lost T.J. Brodie for the start of the season, but gave Brett Kulak, who fought throughout the preseason, a chance to prove his spot.

And now, it all comes together tonight. The Flames are hosting their rival Vancouver Canucks, the very same team they dispatched back in April. Both teams will live to play another day - and another several months, really - but this is the chance to make the first statement.

Projected lines

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
Goalies
Karri Ramo
Jonas Hiller
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
Goalies
Ryan Miller
Jacob Markstrom

Go Flames.