March 12 2011 12:32PM
Wonder Twin Powers shall activate TONIGHT! (Photo by AP)
Game Day Recon #70 - Canucks @ Flames
The Vancouver Canucks face their long-time division rivals tonight as they travel to Calgary to end their 5 game road trip against the Flames. The Flames could very well end up facing the Canucks in the first round of the playoffs. Based on how the games have gone so far this year, I think the Canucks would probably be okay with that.
Game Time: 7:00 PM PT
The Vancouver Canucks are 3-0-1 against the Flames so far this year, outscoring them 17-8 (I'm not counting the SO winner as an actual goal). And Tim Jackman has four of them. Yes, you read that right. So the Canucks have done a positively fantastic job shutting down the rest of the Flames lineup so far this season.
But this could very well be a special teams battle if this becomes a chippy affair. The Canucks have the league's best road power play, while the Flames boast the third best home power play. If the two teams start trading penalties, it will be imperative for the Canucks to capitalize on their extra-man advantages and use their vastly improving road PK to keep the Flames out of this game.
While the Flames in general have been playing incrediby well as a team, there's only one skater that's really been burning up the scoresheet lately. Curtis Glencross has been on a tear, with 5 points in his last 4 games. Jerome Iginla has had a it of a strange year offensively. He's gone on two bit spurts of points scoring, intertwined with very erratic scoring, where he'll get points in a couple of games, then cool down for two or three, then score for a couple, then cool again. Well he hasn't scored a point in his last two games and before that, he had 8 points in 4 games. So far this year, he has 0G 3A for 3Pts in 4GP against Vancouver, and is -5. Besides that, he has not looked especially dominant and the Canucks have doon very well to keep him in check and not engage him physically. Iginla has torched the Canucks throughout his NHL career, so you have to expect that Iggy will wake up at some point this season. In 78 career games against the Canucks, he's scored a blistering 28G 40A 60Pts. Surprisingly though, he's only scored 2 GWG against Vancouver.
As for the league's leading scorer, Daniel Sedin, he's killed the Flames throughout his time in the NHL. in 60GP against the Flames, Daniel has 20G 39A 59Pts and is +16. Brother Henrik's numbers are just as impressive at 11G 41A for 51Pts and +21, also in 60GP. Oh... and they both have 3 GWG's against the Flames, too.
So look for the Sedins to have a stellar night, and expect that Iginla is going to break out of his slumber against the Canucks and exert some will on this game.
**UPDATE** - News courtesy Ian Walker, Tanner Glass has reaggrevated an upper body injury and will not play tonight. The Canucks will very likely put Jeff Tambellini back in the lineup to fill Glass's roll on the fourth line.
The Three Keys
Here are the three keys for the Vancouver Canucks tonight:
1. Watch out for Tim Jackman. NO, SERIOUSLY! In 4GP this year against the Canucks, Jackman has 4 goals! And he's scored in every game! He only has 10 goals for the entire year! You see why I am flabbergasted by this?
2. Faceoffs. The Flames will be without the 2nd-leading faceoff taker, Brendan Morrison, tonight. Granted, Morrison wasn't very good in the faceoff dot, but he was logging big minutes there. So the Flames have to replace him with someone not accustomed to taking that many draws. With as good as the Canucks are, this good be a huge advantage for them. Control the puck and keep it away from Tim Jackman. I mean that.
3. Win the third period. Sorry... #windaturd. The Flames have been dominant in the third period this year and are third in goals-for in the final frame. They do give up goals though, as they rank 20th in goals-against in the third. So the Canucks need to use their 1st place third-period offense, and their third-place third-period defense to close out this game. If the game is close or tied going into the last period, you can expect this one to have one exciting finish.
Here are your top 5 links for today's game:
1. Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Flames (canucks.com)
2. Henrik: Team meeting made a difference (The Province)
3. For Canucks, the puck stops here (Vancouver Sun)
4. Desperate Flames host surging Canucks (CBC Sports)
5. Flames Nation (flamesnation.ca) << SEE WHAT THE ENEMY HAS TO SAY!