Nation World HQ
January 06 2017 08:00AM
The first matchup in a back-to-back set has the Calgary Flames facing off in Vancouver, and we've asked writers from both FlamesNation and CanucksArmy to get you set for tonight's matchup. We've also put together a few notes to get you ready for game one of the home and home.
Please note that this article is posted at both CanucksArmy and FlamesNation
Friday, January 6th, 2017 - Rogers Arena (Vancouver) - 8pm (MST/7pm (PST) on Sportsnet West/Pacific
|Calgary Flames||Vancouver Canucks|
|21-17-2 (4th in the Pacific)
||19-18-3 (6th in the Pacific)|
|6-4-0 in their last 10||7-2-1 in their last 10|
|Power Play (PP%): 20.7% (10th)||Power Play (PP%): 13.9% (27th)|
|Penalty Kill (PK%): 81.6% (16th)||Penalty Kill (PK%): 80.3% (21st)|
Tonight's matchup sees the suddenly red-hot Canucks facing the Calgary Flames at home in Vancouver. Both teams are riding winning streaks right now (five games for Vancouver, two games for Calgary) and will be looking to climb further up the Pacific Division ladder. With this being the first game in a back-to-back set there could be an eight point swing between the two clubs, and both teams will be battling to continue their respective winning streaks.
Bo Horvat (VAN) - 12G, 15A = 27 points
Johnny Gaudreay (CAL) - 10G, 16A = 26 points
Henrik Sedin (VAN) - 9G, 17A = 26 points
Mikael Backlund (CAL) - 12G, 13A = 25 points
Sven Baertschi (VAN) - 11G, 12A = 23 points
Matthew Tkachuk (CAL) - 7G, 16A = 23 points
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Why is your team going to win or why will your enemy lose?
Ari Yanover (FlamesNation):
The Flames are, simply put, better. Mikael Backlund is playing the best hockey of his life, and Matthew Tkachuk is already a bonafide NHLer. T.J. Brodie is rounding back into form, giving them good options on defence lately. And oh - the Flames have been absolutely crushing it the past month, and are a good game or two away from becoming a positive corsi team.
J.D. Burke (CanucksArmy):
The Canucks are in the midst of their longest win streak of the season. They're as healthy as they've ever been. Sven Baertschi is riding a percentage high all the way to a fifty-plus point season. Crazy as this sounds, the Canucks aren't a desirable matchup at this exact moment.
Who’s hot? Who’s not?
Backlund, who can reliably counted on to be at least a half a point-per-game player, is playing with the best linemates he ever has in Tkachuk and Michael Frolik and it's paying off now more than ever. Johnny Gaudreau is capable of taking over a game at any moment - oh, and Kris Versteeg is pretty dangerous, too. And so is the Flames' powerplay - not too long ago the worst in the NHL; now top 10.
I know this is going to painful for Flames fans, but it's Baertschi. He's tied for third on the Canucks in scoring and on pace to set career highs in goals and assists. He also has six points in his last four games. Honourable mention for the Canucks goaltenders, too.
Why should people watch this game?
It's a divisional rivalry! What's not to love about that? The Flames need to beat the teams below them to stay in the playoff picture and they've been doing just that, and have really been scoring more as of late. Goals are fun. Also, Gaudreau creates goals like, constantly. Watch it for Gaudreau. Everybody loves Gaudreau. ... And Backlund.
If the Canucks win, that's six straight. There's your reason to go out, have a few beers and celebrate. Or if you're a Flames fan, that's reason to commiserate over a few. There's also the playoff implications, I guess. Those are important.
Say something nice about your opponent.
I still like Sven. Whatever. And the Sedins can be really fun to watch. Wait, they're how old now? And with what cap hit? On a team where in the standings? Oh my.
I've heard nothing but great things about Rasmus Andersson. He might turn out to be a serviceable second or third pair defenceman. What a find! What'd you give up for that pick anyways?
Any last words?
'Member how the last game between these two played out? I 'member.
Glen Gulutzan is a real treat. I hope you're enjoying him. The guy survived regime change as a member of John Tortorella's staff, so that has to count for something.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Join in the conversation on Twitter at @FlamesNation and @CanucksArmy to give us your thoughts on the game. Social media not your thing? Keep the battle going in the game day articles at FlamesNation.ca and CanucksArmy.com.