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Even though it’s just preseason, beating the Calgary Flames should still rank high on the Canucks list of importance. While the Flames veteran group is over in China still, the baby Flames will take on the mixed bag Canucks. Vancouver didn’t finish on the right side of the score last night when they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Oilers so a win this evening would make things feel a little better.
Vancouver has one more game left in their triple-header tomorrow night so don’t expect to see too many of the same faces back-to-back. What should be expected is a lot of young players, however, so possibly a faster game tonight.
The Canucks who will play:
Based on morning skate…looks like @Canucks may line up like this vs Flames:
— Joey Kenward (@kenwardskorner) September 19, 2018
The Flames who will play:
#Flames tonight in Van:
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) September 19, 2018
HOW THE CANUCKS CAN BEAT THE FLAMES
- Players that shoot instantly increase their chance of scoring. That might be one of the lamest things you’ll read here but for a guy like Loui Eriksson to not have a single shot attempt against the Oilers last night, it’s simply not acceptable. No doubt Travis Green will preach the age-old “pucks on net” speech but this team is going to struggle to score this season so at the very least, get some shots.
- Keep Dillon Dube off the score sheet. Dube is currently tied for the preseason lead in goals (facepalm) with three. If the Oilers let him get open that much, the Canucks will have to keep him to the perimeter. Maybe this would be a good time to test the ferocity of Erik Gudbranson?
- Creativity is the name of the game. Last night the Canucks went NHL 19 on the Oilers with the ankle-breakers, between-the-leg shots, toe drags, etc. Mix the creativity with the shots idea I was talking about and the Canucks are on a roll.
- Goaltending needs to be tight. Jacob Markstrom will see a few starts as will Thatcher Demko before these exhibition games wrap up. Good goaltending makes even the worst teams competitive. Of all the goalies who played at least 20 games last season, Jacob Markstrom finished 31st out of 56 goaltenders with a .912 SV% and Anders Nilsson was even further down the list at #50 with a .901 SV%. This job should be wide open for anyone that can stop the first shot. Thinking Demko could be the starter isn’t the craziest thing to consider. The Canucks want to make sure they aren’t rushing Demko into the job but numbers don’t lie, goaltending was atrocious last season.
- If Vancouver gets a power play, BURY IT!!! Ok, it’s early but this is when you get to work on these things. The real question will be who makes up the second unit as the top group can almost be assumed. The Canucks went 1/7 with the man-advantage against the Oilers so if there are that many calls in their favour, they have to convert. They just have to.
MY 94 CENTS
After a decent showing by the first group of players, tonight’s group should hopefully fair better against a Flames squad that didn’t get picked to go to China. As mentioned yesterday, Dillon Dube will be one to watch but I’d imagine most will have their eyes on Mr. Boeser. I also hear that Olli Juolevi kid may work out.
A RANDOM PETTERSSON GIF
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) September 19, 2018
If I’m Elias, I’m partnering with a really good surgeon that specializes in ankle surgeries. Enter to win free surgery after every ankle break. Maybe he can hand out punch cards to the opponent’s coaching staff between periods?