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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks 10/3/18 (1/82): New Faces, New Places

The Flames hit the road to open the 2018-19 season with a trip to Vancouver to tangle with the Canucks.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks Dom Gagne-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Vancovuer Canucks, 8 PM MT, Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC

Where To Watch & Listen

Radio: Sportsnet 960

HOCKEY IS FINALLY BACK! Sure, there was a preseason, but hockey FOR REAL for the Calgary Flames begins tonight. The Flames will open up away from the Dome with a trip to take on their division rivals in the Vancouver Canucks.

Calgary finished up the preseason with a respectable 4-3-3 record and they most certainly will be looking to improve upon a disappointing 2017-18 season (37-35-10, 84 pts). Calgary failed to make the playoffs last season and the off season was a clear sign that the Flames front office wasn’t exactly thrilled with the outcome. Calgary jettisoned Glen Gultuzan in favour of Bill Peters and the changes weren’t limited to the bench either. Gone are Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland with Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm and James Neal coming in to help propel the Flames back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While the Flames dressing room looks different, the Canucks are coming back without some familiar faces as well. Mainly two, who have been the face of the franchise for 17 NHL seasons. The Sedin twins hung up their skates at the end of last season, ending a decade plus run as two of the most feared skaters in the Western Conference (they combined for 105 points in 2017-18). Vancouver struggled last season, finishing 14th in the Western Conference with a 31-40-11 record, good for 73 points and looking at the playoffs from the outside. Vancouver is going to need another outstanding season from their young star Brock Boeser who was second on the team last year in points with 55.

These two played each other in the preseason twice, with the Flames winning both games by scores of 4-1 and 5-2. These games between the two teams have always been extremely entertaining and with each team looking to get an early jump on the rivalry and show off some new talent, the same should be expected Wednesday night. Calgary owns the series with a 155-123-33 overall record and last season was no exception. Calgary won 3 out of the 4 games between the two teams, including both games at Rogers Arena.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 0-0-0 0.00 0.000
Canucks: Markstrom (E) 0-0-0 0.00 0.000

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Vancouver Canucks Coverage: Nucks Misconduct

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan

NHL: Preseason-San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames have a healthy Sean Monahan back on the ice for the first time in who knows how long. Monahan limped out of last season with a pile of injuries that required surgeries, but by all accounts the dynamic scorer is healthy and ready to go. Even while being quite banged up, Monahan lead the Flames in goals with 31 and finished second on the team with 64 points. The 23 year old only skated in 74 games last season, yet he tied his career high in goals and set a career high in points.

Vancouver Canucks: Brock Boeser

NHL: Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Boeser’s time is now and it’s his team to lead with both Daniel and Henrik Sedin both out of the picture. 2017-18 was Boeser’s first full season in the NHL and he didn’t disappoint. The 21 year old native of Minnesota pumped in 29 goals in 62 games, finishing 2nd on the team in points with 55. The first year all star is just another example of the young and exciting talent that the Western Conference has to offer.