Canucks Army GDT #55: Canucks @ Flames

After an entertaining 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins just last night at Rogers Arena, the Canucks hit the road and look to avoid any talk of a “letdown” game against the Calgary Flames. Despite the Flames awful 5-on-5 play this season, it won’t be easy as the team is essentially playing a road back-to-back, and Ryan Miller is getting his second start in two days.

The Flames are also desperately trying to cling to a hard-earned playoff spot, so they’ll be more than motivated to put forth their best effort on Hockey Day in Canada. Read past the jump for a preview.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM PST

TV: CBC

Radio: TSN 1040

Lineups

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

No changes are expected to Vancouver’s lines, meaning that Brandon McMillan will wait another game to make his Canucks debut. Ryan Miller will get the start in goal.

Defensive Pairings
Mark Giordano 
Mark Giordano
T.J. Brodie 
T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell 
Kris Russell
Dennis Wideman 
Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz 
Raphael Diaz
Deryk Engelland 
Deryk Engelland

Karri Ramo will get the starter’s nod for Calgary tonight.

Head to Head

G55 @ CGY

Storylines

  • Man on Fire – With a hat trick last night, Shawn Matthias now has five goals in his last four games, leading all Canucks over that time span. Zack Kassian also added two assists to give him a five-game streak in which he’s scored three goals and three assists. Kassian’s hot play has seen his points/60 jump back to 1.89, which is around last year’s output, and Matthias is now one of the top-20 most efficient goal scorers in the NHL this season. Both are bound to cool off soon as they’re carrying an insane on-ice shooting percentage of late, but both have also been driving play in the right direction since January 1st. Given how much he’s struggled with this aspect of his game through his career, Matthias’ 51.1% Corsi is particularly impressive.
  • Riding Miller – Ryan Miller, after allowing two goals in a 5-2 win to the Bruins last night, will be back in net tonight against the Calgary Flames. Miller hasn’t been fantastic of late, and has previously admitted that he needs to better manage his fatigue level to stay on top of his game. Eddie Lack is a quality goaltender, so there is absolutely no reason why Miller should be starting tonight. And this is before we even touch on the tendency of goalies to struggle when playing both legs of a back-to-back. Even if you’re #teamMiller, the best course of action for both goalies should be to give Lack the start tonight.
  • Playoff Push – Both the Canucks and the Flames are battling for the final place in the Pacific Division and the final wild card spot. Third place in the Pacific, currently held down by the Canucks, is being contested by both the Flames and L.A. Kings, while the Sharks aren’t home free in second either. A win tonight would vault Vancouver into second in the Pacific and give them a seven point lead on Los Angeles, pending tonight’s results. A loss to the Flames would pull Calgary into a tie for third, and could see Vancouver just two points up on the Minnesota Wild in the wild card race and three up on Los Angeles by the end of tonight.

Gameday Reading

  • BrudnySeaby

    Man, what is ‘Real Good’ Willie thinking half of the time? Why is Ryan ‘Career Average’ Miller playing when we have Eddie ‘Eddie better than the current starter’ Lack ready to go? It’s just ridiculous. It’s getting to me.

    I don’t know how the coach is in the locker room with the guys but he must be the most boring quote of a coach ever to the media. Just cliche after real good cliche. And then these dumb goalie choices. Arrgh…

    • Larionov18

      I wanted Lack in this one as well as Miller is just getting used to playing in the west. Fatigue has been an issue with him all season. When Willie called Buffalo and Edmonton real good teams he lost me. Basically mimics Hank’s style. Tort’s post games were must see tv. Willie only if it was a great game do I listen. I liked to listen to Torts after losses..lol. Players hated it though.

  • BrudnySeaby

    I fail to understand the need by Vancouver fans, media and pundits alike to create controversy where there is none.

    Miller is the number one. Lack is the backup.

    That was made plain and clear in the offseason when Miller was signed out of free agency.

    This is a division game. With playoff implications. Against an opponent you may see in the first or second round. You go with your number one every time. Every time.

    Miller had a relatively light evening with no “real” travel between YVR and YYC.

    Stop fanning flames where there is no need.

    “Vancouver media. Creating controversy out of thin air since 1970.”

    • Larionov18

      I dunno if being concerned about Miller’s starts is necessarily a “controversy”. Miller is certainly the #1: his paycheck should make that abundantly clear. But this is a guy who has stated that he’s had issues with fatigue, so I think it’s totally reasonable for us to question using him in back-to-back starts.

      I should say, though, that I agree with you in a vacuum: this is the game that will effect the standings, so the #1 should get the start. Lack should have got the start last night instead, perhaps.

      A side note: Miller’s on pace for 63 starts this year, which is a far cry from the 70+ we used to ride Luongo for, but not quite the 55-60 I was hoping/expecting that he’d play. I guess we’ll end up seeing how much an extra 5-10 starts will change his postseason performance.

  • Thefreshpots

    I think Coach Miller may have made the decision to play tonight. He’s completely laid an egg in Minnesota this season, so my guess is Lack will get the start there.

  • Orpo

    I like willie d and am a fan of all the management changes of late. That being said i can’t help but wonder what could have happened in the 2015 entry draft had we endured two years of Tortarella instead of just one… another bottome six (or worse) finish? Sigh, oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Orpo

    btw if you think certain personalities that make comments on this blog are trolls than i suggest you engage in the first rule of the internet and DONT FEED THE TROLLS. Fake posts and baseless insults make you seem far more childish than any troll. You’ll never out insult them, don’t fight a forest fire with an eddy match.

  • Orpo

    The commentary on CBC is atrocious. Not sure who is the colour commentator? Gary Galley? He is such a Calgary Flames homer. At one point in the game, after Calgary had scored their first goal to make it 1-1, he said the atmosphere in the building improved so much and now it feels much better like a divisional game.
    I am sorry. Does he know that it is a national televised game? He is way worse than John Garrett. At least John Garrett is only available in the local Vancouver market.