CANUCKS ARMY GDT# 41 – CANUCKS VS. FLAMES

The red-hot Calgary Flames come back to Vancouver to battle the Canucks in what we can only imagine will be a test of supreme strength and skill. Calgary, having won four of their last five games including the pre-Christmas drubbing, take on a Canucks team who themselves are white hot by winning their last five straight games. 

With the Blue Jackets losing last night, the Canucks now have the longest win streak in the NHL. Like any of us were surprised.

Bring on the Flames!

BROADCAST INFO

TV: SNET-P

RADIO: TSN 1040

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBOS

The Jayson Megna anti-fan club has voiced its opinion that someone who has more goals, or rather any, with the Sedins should be on that line. I nominate Loui Eriksson, but they still don’t listen to me. Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat may never be broken up so let’s just move them to the top group and add Loui.

With the back to back this weekend, I would guess Ryan Miller gets the nod tonight and Jacob Markstrom goes tomorrow. If I’m wrong, it doesn’t really matter… two great goalies are backing up the Canucks right now.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

Troy Brouwer will not be in the lineup as he still has a broken finger. Pretty much the same lineup the Flames iced against the Avalanche.

Brian Elliott most likely is their starter.

Calgary Flames lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

GAME NOTES, STATS AND OTHER INTERESTING INFO

  • Baertschi cannot be stopped. Four goals and two assists in his last 5 leads the Canucks… WAIT A SECOND; he’s tied with Bo Horvat! Is there a hotter duo right now? I haven’t looked, but I’m going to say no. As a 3rd line, they are fooling the opposition because the Sedins seem to keep getting the — let’s stop this. Baertschi and Horvat are otherworldly right now, and it definitely continues tonight.
  • Eriksson has 2 PPG in that same time frame, and it is yet another reminder that a goal scorer, hear me out, can score goals when given an opportunity. I feel like we have said this before.
  • While we’re talking about this little streak the team is on, it should be noted Miller has 4 of those wins, a .955 SA% and a minute 1.23 GAA. To add to all his heroics, he also shutout the Coyotes last game and has an assist. Old man Miller keeping it 100 lately and Willie Desjardins loves it!
  • Even though he breaks a crap tonne of sticks, Alex Edler is keeping the puck away from the net. He is tied for 11th in the NHL for all defencemen (12th overall for all players) with 2.3 blocked shots per game. His presence is invaluable and tagging him as a warrior would be an understatement. The Canucks are just better when he’s on the ice.
  • Winning six games would not be entirely new territory for the Canucks; they’ve done it ten times in their history. The rare air is at eight games where they’ve only achieved that twice and obviously the ten gamer which stands above the rest. Regardless, it’s passed the 1st overall pick territory so just enjoy the run.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

So DJ Nieto would be fine, but Ty Rattie is a no? I can’t figure this team out.

MY TAKE

Lately, the script has written itself for this Canucks team. All of the future stars are putting in the hard work and getting some pretty impressive results. It would be nice to see the Sedins own Calgary tonight and see Henrik get to 1000 points.

I very much dislike the Flames and seeing a player like Matthew Tkachuk play so well for them when, you know, he could have been a Canuck, really hurts. Hopefully, the Canucks remember the poor performance the last time these two teams played.

CANUCKS KEEP IT GOING?

Yes, yes they do.

  • This back to back against Calgary is of major importance. With LA Kings doing us a favour last night, we are one point out of the last wild card spot. How great is that, we are right back in it. That nine game losing streak in November really set us back, but here we are in a position to reverse that and get ahead.

    Flames are playing well, but so are we. This should be one of the better battles of this new year. I’m sure Willie does all he can to have our guys ready to go. Again, we need an early good start, get the first goal, and elite goaltending will douse those pesky Flames.

  • Charlie Allnut

    I am concerned about Alex’s eye injury, but no news. And about all the kvetching about the Sedin line with Megna, while it is not producing goals, it does neutralize the opponent first line. This in turn opens up some opportunity for the second and third lines to be able to take advantage by outplaying the opposition at that level of the game. Not pretty, but it works. Willie, like all prairie men, would rather have fat cows than a swanky looking barn.

  • TheRealPB

    Why are you surprised that the Canucks would put in a claim on Nieto especially since you report Macintyre says he was heavily sought after by other teams? He’s also a 2nd round pick and has played pretty much a full time role in 3 NHL seasons. He’s exactly one year older than Rattie and while he doesn’t have the same offensive totals (at lower levels) he’s proved himself to be a capable bottom six forward even if he fell out of favor in SJ. Is it always a grass-is-greener mentality even on waiver wire players?

    • DJ_44

      Actually, I think Hunter Shinkaruk would be the more appropriate topic. Granlund did not get any love from CA when that trade occurred, going so far as to suggest that the Canucks got the Granlund brothers mixed up (yikes).

      Not too many were (or intelligent ones are) suggesting that Juolevi was a bad pick.

  • JuiceBox

    If you can’t figure out why the Canucks would want Nieto over Rattie, you truly are daft.

    Nieto – 221 NHL games (3 complete seasons) twice a 10-goal scorer, perfectly serviceable 4th line winger. Rattie – 31 NHL games (never more than 13 in a season) and not even replacement level NHL player – should probably be playing in the AHL.

    I’m sure glad you don’t run this team.

    • Freud

      ? This is such a simple answer to a complex question, it appears you do run this team, is that you Jim?

      These players came from different organizations with different forward depth and needs. SJ historically has had little depth, St Louis probably has the deepest group of forwards in the league. How can you compare games played?

      Also, you don’t appear to know what “replacement level” means.

      Rattie was 2nd in 5on5 pts per 60 on the Blues last year. He had 4 goals in 13 games – that’s a 25 goal season.

      His possession numbers over 2 season were in the 51.5% range and equal to the team average.

      The sample size is probably too small to make a definitive judgment either way, but if you only have 46 contracts and employ Chaput, Skille and Megna, why would you not take a chance on Rattie?

      • JuiceBox

        “St Louis probably has the deepest group of forwards in the league.”

        Take a look at StL right side. Tarasenko, Jaskin, Reaves, Upshall, Yakupov. After Tarasenko nobody has more than 10 points. Rattie was given a perfect situation to prove he belonged in the NHL and all he could muster was 29 minutes of ice-time in 4 games.

        “How can you compare games played?”

        Because by the age of 23/24 forwards should be established NHL players. Rattie at 23 can’t crack a very weak right side in StL, yet Neito at age 24 has been able to hold down a full-time job for 3 years in SJ.

        “Rattie was 2nd in 5on5 pts per 60 on the Blues last year. He had 4 goals in 13 games – that’s a 25 goal season.”

        We are 40 games into this season, what he was able to do last year is irrelevant. There is a reason he only got into 4 games this year.

        “His possession numbers over 2 season were in the 51.5% range and equal to the team average.”

        25 games and less than 150 minutes is not a large enough sample size to use corsi as any kind of useful indicator of play.

        “but if you only have 46 contracts and employ Chaput, Skille and Megna, why would you not take a chance on Rattie?”

        If Rattie couldn’t crack that amazing right wing depth in StL, what makes you think he is going to be better than any of those aforemented Canucks players? All he had to do was not suck and he would have been able to hold down a spot in StL. Hitch is a development coach, if he thought there was any hope for that kid in the NHL StL would have held on to him (and they did for about 3 months longer than they should have). He was waived for a reason… He can’t make it in the NHL.

        The Canucks suddenly find themselves in a hunt for a playoff spot, now is not the time to take a flier on a player like Rattie, now is the time to find NHL players who can actually play.

  • Steampuck

    Not so very long ago, the Canucks were producing goals at an all-worldly low per game level. Over the past few weeks they have managed to catch and pass more than half a dozen teams—and not just the bottom-feeders. LA, Ottawa, Florida, Detroit, Boston, New Jersey, among others. I’m not claiming “Rebuild Complete,” or anything, but after the diatribes over all-time low production, that narrative seems to be a thing of the past…

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    Just wanna give a shoutout to Gaunce-Chaput-Skille for being a very good 4th line. That combo leads the teams in CF%, their forechecking has really been picking it up lately. I don’t mind giving them 11-12 minutes a game. And I may be a broken record but Sedins with Megna owns our worst CF% mark for line combos while Sedins with Eriksson is our 2nd best, almost a 15% difference. If you guys really want to contend, then they need to make the lines their best lines.