Canucks Army GDT #3 – Canucks @ Flames


Wake up Eddie, you’re in net tonight! (Image via Nick Didlick)

What a difference a day makes, eh? At this time yesterday, there was at least a unease felt in Vancouver regarding the state of the team following a lackluster performance in the season opener, and the news that Alex Burrows would be out for a few weeks. Then they went out and laid an absolute shellacking on the pitiful Oilers

Much like it wasn’t time to start totally panicking after one loss, it’s still not time to start planning the parade following one win. While the offensive showing was certainly impressed, we need to keep in mind that it came against a swiss cheese defense that was playing without its top two centres. Still, that’s what good teams do; take care of business at home, leaving little doubt.

There ain’t no rest for the wicked, though, with the season’s first back-to-back on the schedule. The Canucks will hop on a quick flight to Calgary, and attempt to complete a sweep of Alberta on Sunday evening. Read on past the jump for a preview of tonight’s game.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 5 PM PST

TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific

Radio: Team1040

Setup:

As the picture up top indicates, it has been announced that John Tortorella is giving Eddie Lack his first career NHL start on Sunday night. I’m sure that the Canucks don’t want to ride Roberto Luongo into the ground in the regular season, so it’ll be important for Lack to show that he’s capable of handling somewhere in the ballpark of 17-22 start this season. Especially since he has fellow Swedish goalie Joacim Eriksson breathing down his throat. There’s no back-to-backs on the schedule until October 19th/20th, so this could be Lack’s only chance to impress over the course of the first few weeks of the campaign.

We haven’t heard any news yet, but after last night’s performance, I highly doubt we’ll see any lineup changes. That means that you can expect the following 4 lines [thanks to our friends over at DailyFaceoff]:

There was some debate as to whether it would be Hansen or Booth that would be afforded the luxury of playing next to the Sedins, and it turned out to be the Honey Badger. That decision turned out to be a good one, as I thought Hansen played a really good game next to the twins, benefitting from a ridiculous tic-tac-toe passing play to score the team’s 3rd goal last night. Meanwhile, Booth looked okay in his return to the AmEx line, but it was Kesler who was fantastic all night long. He fired 9 shots on goal, which was a welcome sight for all (well, except the opposition). Higgins registered 3 shots on goal himself, giving him 8 on the season now. Not bad.

What can we expect from the Flames? While they – as we’ve become accustomed to in recent years – have a medley of players you’d initially scoff at in their lineup, I wouldn’t overlook them. They scored 4 goals in each of their first two games, on the road, against two teams I’d consider to be at least decent (Columbus and Washington).

In terms of things to watch for, I’d keep an eye out for the Baertschi-Monahan-Stempniak line, which has done very well early on. On defense, they’re relying heavily on their top pairing of TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano, with Wideman playing in a more sheltered role. We won’t get to see Karri Ramo in net for them tonight, as they’re expected to go back to Joey MacDonald following his victory a few nights ago. Oh well.

Numbers Game:

  Canucks Flames
Record 1-1-0 1-0-1
Goal Differential 1 0
Faceoff % 49.20% 39.70%
PP % 16.70% 12.50%
PK % 100% 50%
Fenwick Tied % 61.90% 56.50%
Corsi % 53.30% 45.20%
PDO 100.3 101.7

Gameday Links:

  • The tale of the tape for tonight’s game. [via CDC]
  • A strong forecheck beffudled the Oilers last night, and could be a key for the Canucks all year. [via Tony Gallagher]
  • And finally, if you’d like to read up on the opposition tonight go check out our pals over at Flames Nation.

PlayNow:

Our friends over at PlayNow.com after offering two specials for tonight’s game:

Silencing the Saddledome: If the Canucks score the first goal tonight, and wind up winning, you get $2.60 for every $1 that you bet. I’d say those are some pretty darn good odds.

Buries from Burrows: I’d recommend not betting this once since, you know, Alex Burrows isn’t playing and what not. 

Streakcred:

Hey, have you signed up for Streakcred yet? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s pretty easy. You sign up, guess the winners of games, and if you’re really good at it, you’ll get some prizes coming your way.

There’s only 3 games on tonight’s schedule (including this one). I’d personally go with the Winnipeg Jets beating the Anaheim Ducks tonight. It’s a combination of believing in the Jets (and more importantly, their play on home ice in front of that raucous crowd) and not believing in the Ducks, who are playing in the 2nd of a back-to-back.

  • argoleas

    It was an uneven performance but what you might expect in the second half of a back-to-back. Loved seeing Bieksa nimbly get by that Calgary defenceman to set up Santorelli. The moments between that piece of eel mimicry and the ame winner, I was thinking “this deserves to be a goal”. And it was! Praised by the Gods it was!

  • argoleas

    Well them Canucks just came back from a 3-1 deficit to win in OT. Not saying they’re going to win the cup with this team but if AV was behind the bench at this time, they would have packed it away before the 3rd. Haha.

    • argoleas

      Both teams impressed me with their overall fight. Again a full-game effort on Canuck’s part with all 3 top lines participating. 13 different players on the scoresheet, with only Santorelli the Sniper with 2 pts.

      Win or lose, the best thing is that at least we will get 60-min effort on the ice.

      • argoleas

        That’s ok if you aren’t paying to see a game but if I were to shell out good money to see a team play esp in the playoffs, I sure as hell wouldn’t feel any comfort if a team puts in a good effort and loses. Effort is effort, but you can put an farmer on the ice and still get a 60 minute effort. The point is to find a way to get better so you can win the ultimate prize. Effort isn’t enough, you must learn new skills, new ways to do things better. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of guys running around the ice like dogs for 60 minutes.

  • argoleas

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  • argoleas

    For the first time in quite a while there are nerves going into a game with a bad team. Having Schnieds and Lou the last few years was a luxury, despite the soap opera last year. I really hope Lack performs well tonight. In the preseason he seemed cool under pressure without too much extra movement . Hopefully the team plays a better defensive game on the road. We can’t have any break away and point blank TOs with Lacks first start. Go get em Eddie

  • argoleas

    I have to give Calgary some credit.

    They have (finally) accepted their lot in life as the doormats of the division and are employing arguably the worst goaltending tandem in the NHL to help rebuild the organization through the draft.

    4-3 Canucks.

    • argoleas

      Seems to me that these three are what we need to improve the third line (and 1s and second). I think that Hansen will provide to be worth every penny of his contract.

      But we have to remember why Burr is out, and by the time he is back in, others may be out for the same reason. So i think we need to get used to holes in the lineup like we saw last night. Again, depth….

  • argoleas

    >> Much like it wasn’t time to start totally panicking after one loss, it’s still not time to start planning the parade following one win.

    Absolutely. The team loses to a better team, then beats a worse team. no surprises so far. Although every game is an important benchmark, the next test is San Jose on the 10th. Lets see if the first game was a mirage or the shape of things to come.

    For this game, interesting to see how the team handles the back-to-back. The team now plays a high-energy game, which is very nice to see, but how will they cope with no day off? With all those young legs, they should do fine….. oh.