Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks, 8 PM MT, Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC
TV: SN 360, SNW, SNP - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (6-5-1, 13 pts) - Vancouver Canucks (6-10-0, 12 pts)
Braden Holtby, you aren’t in Kansas (Washington) anymore! Things are falling apart with the Canucks very quickly and the Flames can pile on tonight as they head to Vancouver for a three game set. The Canucks are mired in a losing streak that has now stretched to six games and if the highlights and post game comments are accurate, things aren’t looking good. The defence in front of Holtby has made some mistakes and the glaring looks and comments aren’t helping matters. In Holtby’s last three starts the Canucks have been outscored 14-4 and he’s allowed all 14, including three on 19 shots in a 3-1 loss to Toronto. So yes, the defence isn’t all worldly, but some of the blame clearly needs to be laid at his feet as well. Buckle up kids, it’s not going to get any easier in BC.
The Flames were finally able to leap frog the Canucks and hop into 5th place in the Scotiabank North Division as Vancouver has hit the skids and hard. The ‘Nucks have lost six in a row and that type of play has been exactly how they have played all season: lose three in a row, win four in a row, lose six in a row. What was an offence that could put the puck in the net has been outscored 25-10 during this six game slide, but some early season stat padding still has them sitting at 4th overall with 49 goals scored. Where they are struggling lately as well is with keeping the puck out of their net. Vancouver is tops in the league in goals allowed with 63, which is a ridiculous 30 more than Calgary has allowed. In Vancouver’s defence, they have played 16 games already, but 30 more GA in just four more games is definitely not a recipe for success.
The Flames are currently riding a nice two game winning streak that has seen them start to play complete games. Calgary’s 3-2 victory over Winnipeg finally got that monkey off their back and they really played solid from start to finish. The new look 3M Line has been anchoring the Flames lately and that was on full display Tuesday night. Mikael Backlund, Milan Lucic and Andrew Mangiapane all were major contributors and that threesome has combined for nine points during this mini run of success. If that keeps up, plus the play of Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, Dillon Dube and the grinders on the fourth line, the Flames could be making a bigger jump in the standings than just going from 6th to 5th place.
The Flames and Canucks have played each other twice so far this season with Calgary winning both games by scores of 3-0 and 5-2.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Markstrom (E): 6-3-1, 2.50 GAA, .916 SV%
Canucks: Holtby (E): 3-5-0, 3.75 GAA, .885 SV%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (7), Points- Gaudreau (13), PIM- Tkachuk (13), Save%- Markstrom (.916)
Canucks: Goals- Boeser (9), Points- Huges (17), PIM: Myers (31). Save%- Demko (.896)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Vancouver Canucks Coverage: Nucks Misconduct
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 3 - Winnipeg Jets 2
Vancouver Canucks 1 - Toronto Maple Leafs 3
Players To Watch
Milan Lucic (F): 3 points in last 2 games
Quinn Hughes (D): 6 assists in last 4 games