Pregame: Canucks sending young group to Calgary for first preseason matchup vs. Flames

Photo credit:Abbotsford Canucks/ Instagram
David Quadrelli
7 months ago
You read the headline. Tonight’s game likely isn’t going to be pretty, but the Vancouver Canucks have the chance to do the funniest thing imaginable.
Tonight, the Canucks are sending a young group to Calgary to take on the Flames in both clubs’ first game of the 2023-24 NHL preseason.
In the crease, the Flames are going with Jacob Markstrom, and it appears the Canucks will be countering with Arturs Silovs. And if you thought that was a mismatch, wait till you see the rest of the playing roster!
While the Flames will be rolling out their top forward line and two top four defence pairings, the Canucks are sending their NHL bottom six hopefuls and basically everybody fighting for the final NHL roster spots on defence.
Nils Höglander and Vasily Podkolzin are expected to play, and we will certainly be watching to see if those players can lead by example and make an impact as two of the more skilled players on the Canucks’ playing roster today.
As a collective, the Flames have a lot to prove after how last season went, and a lot of those players who they hope can lead them back into the playoffs will be in their lineup tonight. On the other side, the Canucks don’t really have a player on their roster who isn’t going to want to have a big game tonight, as everybody on their roster is fighting for an NHL roster or AHL lineup spot, at the very least.
Some things to watch tonight:
-How do Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Höglander look? Is Podkolzin going to be able to “let it hang?”
-Who stands out on defence? Does Matt Irwin look like the favourite to win the 7th defenceman job? Does Akito Hirose look like an NHL defenceman?
-Aatu Räty and Aidan McDonough had some strong showings at the Young Stars Classic, but how will they fare tonight with some higher expectations on them?
-Are Pius Suter and Dakota Joshua going to be together? How does that look? Could that be one of the bottom six “pairings” that Tocchet spoke about during camp?
This is going to be a very interesting game to watch play out and thankfully, you can watch it play out as John Shorthouse and Dave Tomlinson will have the call on Sportsnet Pacific live from Calgary at 5 PM Pacific Time!

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