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CANUCKSARMY GDT 30 – CANUCKS @ FLAMES (HNIC)

Tonight might have a few fireworks. The Canucks come into Calgary for a Saturday night classic on Hockey Night in Canada.

Vancouver, fresh off a loss to the Flyers in their first game without Bo Horvat until at least mid-January, and the Flames coming off an OT victory over the Canadiens. This is the rubber match between these two clubs with each team winning on the road so far this season.

Not to be confused with the legendary S-Club 7 parties, there’s nothing like a Canucks/Flames party on a Saturday night.

Let’s do this!

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: CBC (HNIC)

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINE COMBINATIONS

Fresh off a late Thursday night trade, Nic Dowd is in Calgary to join his new team. Michael Chaput was inserted into line rushes and practiced alongside Alex Burmistrov and Loui Eriksson. Nikolay Goldobin gets the Sedin treatment while Sven Baertschi is reunited with Brock Boeser and new linemate Sam Gagner. Still, no Brandon Sutter or Erik Gudbranson but they’re close.

Jacob Markstrom has been pretty amazing lately, but an Anders Nilsson start wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

Jaromir Jagr may return to the lineup, but a winning lineup usually stays intact. Matthew Tkachuk will return from his suspension for spearing a Maple Leaf player from the bench.

Mike Smith is the expected starter.

Calgary Flames lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR 

  • The last time these two teams played, the Canucks gave the Flames a heavy dose of Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter, and Derek Dorsett. None of these players will be playing tonight which means the workload will be heavily placed on the Sedins, Boeser and the Canucks defence. Thomas Vanek had his famous clapper last time which is worth waiting for again. It will be a test, that’s for sure.
  • Getting back to the previous meeting, five of the eight goals scored in the game were by special teams, four of which were on the power play. Vancouver and Calgary are 11th and 13th respectively on the PP which could mean more of the same. Hopefully, the Canucks practiced discipline.

It looks like they did.

  • As good as Nikolay Goldobin could be with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, at 5v5, the Sedins and Jake Virtanen might be the line to roll with up front. They have a combined 59.76 CF %, a GF% of 75 and a xGF% of 64.65. Sustainable? Tough to say. Pretty good? Absolutely.
  • Nikolay Goldobin gets the starring role with the Sedins tonight and if he can get his speed going, he might be in line for a few points. The scoring will need to be spread out with Bo on the shelf.
  • Jacob Markstrom is playing Top-10 hockey right now. Of goalies with at least ten games played, Markstrom ranks 10th in GAA with a 2.44 rating. There haven’t been many Western Conference opponents, but he isn’t allowing that many goals per game which puts the Canucks in a much better position to win every night.

THE TWITTER TAKE

Brock Boeser is two rockets blasting emojis better than Clayton Keller’s goat emoji?

MY 94 CENTS

Canucks versus Flames has produced a lot of memories, more in favour of the Canucks. With the absence of Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter, the setup game from Henrik Sedin is going to have to be on point this evening. There is a good chance Boeser does some damage and just as good of a chance that the Sedins run wild on the Flames as well.

A win would be nice, though.

OVER / UNDER

Mike Smith meltdown (+/- 4 goals)     No one should crumble with fewer goals allowed, but most aren’t Mike Smith. Take the over if he indeed blows a gasket.

Brendan Gaunce goal (yes/no)     A simple yes this evening, a simple yes.

 

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