Canucks Army GDT #66 – Flames @ Canucks

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After getting plowed 6-1 in a critical game against the Dallas Stars and falling all the way to 28th in the league in scoring, the Vancouver Canucks return home tonight to Where It All Began and face the Calgary Flames. We all remember what happened last time these two teams met in Vancouver, and we all know that since that fateful night, the Canucks have just 3 wins in 15 games stretched over two months. The pre-post-Torts era that began that 1st intermission has been nothing short of hapless, uninspired, and just putrid.

Fortunately for the Canucks, and unfortunately for fans of the Canucks, Flames, or just hockey in general, Calgary has been hapless, uninspired, and just putrid for pretty much the whole season. They’re just as anemic offensively as the Canucks, so this game is gearing up to just be an absolute barnburner. We may see three goals scored! Are you excited yet!?

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: CBC

The Canucks

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The big change tonight is that Nicklas Jensen draws in to the lineup for the first time this season as Zack Kassian serves the first game of his 3 game suspension for boarding Dallas’ Brenden Dillon. As Dimitri notes here, Jensen has been effective for the Utica Comets of late, scoring 9 goals in his last 15 games to give him a total of 15 goals and 5 assists in 51 games on the season. While it’s great to see that he’s on a hot streak, I don’t think you should put more stock into this 15 game stretch than you should put into the 17 game stretch in which he didn’t score a single goal to start the year. Given his shot rate, Jensen’s 15 goals in 51 games put him right around the level that you’d expect him to be at on the year.

The bottom line is that Jensen isn’t producing at a top-6 level in the AHL, and there’s no real reason to believe that he’s a better offensive option right now than, say, Darren Archibald. In fact, Archibald and Jensen had remarkably similar numbers in the CHL – Jensen had 25G and 33A in 57GP in 2011-12 with Oshawa, while Archibald had 26G and 33A in 57GP with Barrie in 2009-10. I’d be surprised if Jensen can really help the Canucks find an offensive spark, but hey, blind hope is pretty much all we have left at this point in the season.

The Flames

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I was going to make a joke about Lance Bouma on the 1st line and Paul Byron on the 3rd, but Vancouver has Nicklas Jensen and Tom Sestito in those spots. Glass houses, throwing stones, etc, etc.

There’s not really much to say about Calgary. Half this roster was playing for the Abbotsford Heat the last time I saw them live (which was a few weeks ago), and much like the Comets, the Heat aren’t exactly lighting it up in the AHL. By my count, there are 7 rookies in Calgary’s lineup tonight including starting goaltender Joni Ortio, and outside of Sean Monahan, I wouldn’t really consider any of them to be too “exciting.”

The Numbers

Canucks Flames
5v5 Corsi Close % 51.8% (10th) 45.3% (27th)
5v5 GF/60 2.11 (20th) 1.84 (28th)
5v5 GA/60 2.11 (10th) 2.57 (25th)
5v5 PDO 998 (16th) 980 (29th)
     
5v4 GF/60 4.34 (28th) 4.69 (25th)
5v4 SF/60 57.6 (4th) 43.6 (27th)
4v5 GA/60 4.40 (3rd) 6.44 (21st)
4v5 SA/60 40.2 (1st) 50.1 (16th)

Good lord, Calgary is terrible. They are bottom-5 in every category outside of the penalty kill. 

A couple more fun tidbits: 

  • I believe that the loser of this game in regulation falls to 29th in the league in goals for per game. Vancouver sits just 0.01 G/GP above Calgary for 28th right now. Only the Buffalo Sabres have scored less frequently.
  • Alex Burrows is flirting with history:

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m cheering for Burrows to continue to not regress to the mean, just to say that we Canuck fans witnessed history in 2013-14. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on the dams bursting here soon though.

Vancouver really should win this game tonight, but if they do lose: oh well. That just brings us one step closer to Sams Reinhart or Bennett.

  • JCDavies

    You Canucks fans are hilarious. I love how many of you are leaky luongo fanboy now that he’s traded. Where were you guys when Luongo was getting pulled in the finals? Face it, Leaky Luo was average, choked on the big games and didn’t want to be here anymore and when he was gone, you fanboys are now crying about how bad leaky luo was treated. Take a good look at your organization. You got a useless GM, useless scouting, you were too cheap to sign the real players like erhoff, salo, rome and torres who got you to that fluke finals. And what do you do? You keep the sisters, who are still M.I.A. Kesler, who makes grumpy from snowwhite look happy hasn’t done squat since he took apart the lowly predators years ago. I guess kesler will live off of that for another ten years eh? How about alex edler, the one who scores more on his own net than the opponents? With team mates like him, you really don’t need opponents. LOL

    The pathetic list goes on and on, and for every deadbeat on that team there are equally the same amount of loser embracing excuses. But hey, now it’s time to blame the new coach, cause we all know it’s never the use teams fault, cause it’s too “hard” to deal the bums away, cause god knows how the players on this team are superstars that everyone wants. Hahah, yeah, just get on your knees bozos and thank Florida for even giving you something in return for that leaky cougar of a goalie who seems to spend more time and energy being a fake classless tool on twitter then he did on the ice. Gee, wonder why Thomas asked to be traded, who would want to play with a guy who’s never won anything in the league and that’s going to constantly ask you to pump his flat tires?

    You delusional canuck fanboys need to understand that the difference between you and the rest of the canadian fans is that they know their teams suck, and are not perpetually making sorry ass excuses for their club like you bone heads do non stop. Wake up wankers, youre team was above average in a weak division, over rated and overpaid, even your players know that. You supported a bunch of quitters and now those quitters are doing exactly what quitters do best…QUIT. LOL

    Canucks fanboy – ” God, why do you punish us so much?”
    God -” Punish you? I’m not punishing you, I’m giving you exactly what you’ve supported all along.”

  • beloch

    “By my count, there are 7 rookies in Calgary’s lineup tonight including starting goaltender Joni Ortio, and outside of Sean Monahan, I wouldn’t really consider any of them to be too ‘exciting.'”

    Here are the current NHLE’s of the Flames rookie forwards who will be playing vs Vancouver tonight:

    Ben Hanowski – 19.5
    Corban Knight – 22.6
    Markus Granlund – 33.3
    Max Reinhart – 29.9
    Paul Byron – 31.2
    Sean Monahan – 42.5*
    Joe Colborne – 26.9*

    *Actual NHL pace, not NHLE

    And, for comparison:

    Nicklas Jensen – 14.1

  • ChinookArchYYC

    “Vancouver really should win this game tonight, but if they do lose: oh well. That just brings us one step closer to Sams Reinhart or Bennett”

    And that’s what separates Calgary from Vancouver, losing is never a acceptable no matter how you justify it. Don’t worry when Vancouver destroys it’s economy once again with its next NDP government, Alberta’s right next door to prop you up again.

  • JCDavies

    @That’s Offside!

    Re: Archibald and Jensen

    Are you sure it’s a fair comparison? Archibald would have been a year older and expected to produce more, no?