SPEAKING WITH THE ENEMY: Flames at Canucks

Nation World HQ
January 06 2017 08:00AM

Spy vs Spy

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

THE MATCHUP

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)
FlamesNation_white
CanucksArmy_white

Today's Meeting:

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. 

Points Leaders:

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

Goaltenders:

Calgary

Goalies

Player GP GS W L T OT SA GA GAA S Sv% SO MIN
Chad Johnson 22 22 13 8 0 1 640 51 2.34 589 .920 3 1,310
Brian Elliott 19 18 8 9 0 1 502 53 2.90 449 .894 0 1,099

Vancouver

Player GP GS W L T OT SA GA GAA S Sv% SO MIN
Jacob Markstrom 20 17 8 8 0 2 526 46 2.60 480 .913 0 1,061
Ryan Miller 23 23 11 10 0 1 685 60 2.65 625 .912 1 1,360

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?

Ari Yanover

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.

J.D. Burke

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?

Ari Yanover

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.

J.D. Burke

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.

Ari Yanover

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.

J.D. Burke

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?

Ari Yanover

'Member how the last game between these two played out? I 'member.

J.D. Burke

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.

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We are the people that keep this whole circus running. We get no love but get to see Wanye freak out about stuff in person which is kind of a trade off.
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#51 Bud Poile
January 06 2017, 02:41PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

I don't necessarily disagree with what you're trying to get at here, but are you trying to draw some sort of equivalency between Tkachuk and Baertschi? They both have 23 points in a similar number of games. One has superb underlying numbers, the other doesn't. The one that does? 5 years less development time.

One was a coveted first round pick by the Flames and the other was a Calgary first round pick that they pissed off.

Think of it this way-we got Ollie and Sven- and Burke looks like Burke once again.

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#52 Lucky 13
January 06 2017, 02:48PM
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Jamie E wrote:

Thanks. Exactly the reaction I was looking for. This thread was getting WAY too polite. :)

Well played! Although in fairness I'm suffering from PTSD Post Traumatic Shootout Disorder from Canada's non win! What a shi* way to end a great game!

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#53 Jumping Jack Flash
January 06 2017, 03:47PM
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Jakethesnail wrote:

Completely obvious the we got schooled by Vancouver in the Baertschi deal.

I never liked the treatment that Baertchi received from Burke and the coaching staff. However, Baertchi had plenty of chances to crack the line up and never delivered. Personally, I think Rasmussen is going to be a really good NHL defender once he gets his fitness on track. I think the Granlund vs Shinkaruk trade is a wash.

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#54 Derzie
January 06 2017, 05:04PM
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Killer Marmot wrote:

Even accepting that Baertschi may not have had the best attitude a few years back, Flames management mishandled the situation by going public with their complaints against him. That's a big no-no, particularly when dealing with a young player.

70% on Burke, 20% on Hartley, 10% on Treliving. Paul Byron-like screw up. Fans all knew it for both.

We can ease the pain if Vancouver takes GG back. Chaisson comes with him though.

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#55 Derzie
January 06 2017, 05:06PM
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Jumping Jack Flash wrote:

I never liked the treatment that Baertchi received from Burke and the coaching staff. However, Baertchi had plenty of chances to crack the line up and never delivered. Personally, I think Rasmussen is going to be a really good NHL defender once he gets his fitness on track. I think the Granlund vs Shinkaruk trade is a wash.

'Crack the lineup' was impossible under Hartley. Ruined the kid. Is Granlund an AHLer? If so, it's a wash. Phat Ras will be good. 2nd pairing likely.

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#56 Derzie
January 06 2017, 05:14PM
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Gkpoil wrote:

Put down the bong buddy, the flames will not even come close to clinching the division this year. You guys have put up some wins against weaker opponents as of late, but take a look at your last 20 games of the year, have fun with that. The Oil may have slowed down from October but their tough part of the year is over...

Ignore the Bettman loser points. They only matter at the end of the season (shouldn't matter at all). If you want to compare teams, look at wins. Just wins. Only thing worth bragging about. Flames have more.

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#57 oilersuck
January 06 2017, 05:18PM
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Bud Poile wrote:

One was a coveted first round pick by the Flames and the other was a Calgary first round pick that they pissed off.

Think of it this way-we got Ollie and Sven- and Burke looks like Burke once again.

Ollie has 63 points in 83 OHL games (0.759/game)

Andersson got 124 points in 131 OHL games (0.946/game).

In Sven's first "full" NHL season at 23 years old he had 28 points in 69 games (0.406/game).

Tkachuk has 23 in 36 so far as a 18/19 year old (0.639/game)

Ollie+Sven vs Tkachuk+Andersson. I'll take Tkachuk and Andersson.

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#58 Bud Poile
January 06 2017, 05:54PM
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oilersuck wrote:

Ollie has 63 points in 83 OHL games (0.759/game)

Andersson got 124 points in 131 OHL games (0.946/game).

In Sven's first "full" NHL season at 23 years old he had 28 points in 69 games (0.406/game).

Tkachuk has 23 in 36 so far as a 18/19 year old (0.639/game)

Ollie+Sven vs Tkachuk+Andersson. I'll take Tkachuk and Andersson.

Ollie excels defensively while adding very reasonable offense.

He's a d-man.

Sven and Tkachuk have the same points totals.

Difference is Ollie is projected as a top-two NHL d-man so your analysis/comparison is lacking a fair or realistic conclusion.

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#59 Bud Poile
January 06 2017, 06:02PM
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Derzie wrote:

'Crack the lineup' was impossible under Hartley. Ruined the kid. Is Granlund an AHLer? If so, it's a wash. Phat Ras will be good. 2nd pairing likely.

Granlund is projecting 28 points right now but is coming on as of late so 35 points is not out of the question.

Baertschi is projecting 50 points.

85 points for Shinkaruk and a second.

We all love Burkie.

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#60 flames2015
January 06 2017, 06:20PM
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Bud Poile wrote:

Ollie excels defensively while adding very reasonable offense.

He's a d-man.

Sven and Tkachuk have the same points totals.

Difference is Ollie is projected as a top-two NHL d-man so your analysis/comparison is lacking a fair or realistic conclusion.

Anderson is also a d-man.

Tkachuk and Baertchi have the same pt totals yes, difference being Tkachuk is 19 and in his first year of pro hockey straight from juniors, while Baertchi has 6 years of pro development on him.

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#61 defenceman factory
January 06 2017, 06:35PM
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As this speaking with the enemy is new, flames fans may not be familiar with CanucksArmy's dear old Bud Poile.

He is a devote Canucks fan, sometimes insightful but always loyal. He only wears rose coloured glasses and will argue meaningless points making endless posts well into the wee hours if you engage. Best just to smile and shake your head.

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#62 Jumping Jack Flash
January 06 2017, 07:35PM
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TheRealPB wrote:

Is Shinkaruk progressing from where the Canucks management had him pegged last year (a perimeter player who would be relatively dominant at the AHL but have a tough go in the NHL)? I was always a bit surprised that they were that harsh given how well he seemed to play at the AHL level and in preseason. He displayed a level of creativity that I haven't seen in just about any other Canucks' prospect or young player (aside more recently from Horvat). He also continues to produce at the AHL level for you this year. Does he just need seasoning? Did he just get bypassed on the depth chart by Tkachuk? It's hard for me to see Chiassion or Versteeg as necessarily better options but I haven't seen the Flames play that much. Granlund is much better than he was given credit last year at the trade and after -- strong on the puck, positionally sound, decent skill, though unlikely to be much more than a complementary player.

Shinkaruk is following a similar path to Baertschi in his early years. There was a spot for him to win but he just didn't do it. In fairness, he was not given top 6 opportunities enough, similar to Baertschi. He has been really quiet since returning to the AHL and has dropped a bit. He needs to find that Ahaa moment that Baertschi found. The good news is that, the Calgary brass are unlikely to make the same mistakes.

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#63 Jumping Jack Flash
January 06 2017, 07:58PM
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Jamie E wrote:

Hey, we're a little nervous about Juolevi here in Vancouver and we're man enough to admit it. With that said, he played very well for us in pre-season and I think he's one of those players who just plays better with structure in a pro environment. Am I worried that he was a reach? Yes. Am I worried that he will be a NHL regular? No.

What we SHOULD be trash talking about is that coach of yours who ran the worst PP we've ever seen here in Vancouver and was rewarded with your head coaching job and has led your team to a truly underwhelming performance so far this season.

Juollevi was not my choice when Calgary was going to pick 6th. I thought you guys would have jumped on Tkachuck but we are thrilled that you left him for us. Having said that, I wanted Nylander but it became clear that the Calgary brass preferred Juollevi over Nylander...so I can't see all these experts being wrong about this player.

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#64 Bud Poile
January 06 2017, 09:29PM
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flames2015 wrote:

Anderson is also a d-man.

Tkachuk and Baertchi have the same pt totals yes, difference being Tkachuk is 19 and in his first year of pro hockey straight from juniors, while Baertchi has 6 years of pro development on him.

The difference is Benning stole Baer off Burke for a second.

Your second has never seen a game of NHL hockey while the Canucks have had Sven for 1.5 years of play.

Who cares about Tkachuk but Flames fans?

He has nothing to do with acquiring Sven.

Look at the score in the game and get back to counting your chickens before they hatch.

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#65 Ragnarok Ouroboros
January 06 2017, 10:45PM
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Canucks Rope-a-Dope the Flames to Victory.

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#66 apr
January 07 2017, 09:57AM
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9 saves. 9. You guys should have traded for Bishop. Thank Burke.

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