Happy Hockey Day in Canada, friends! It’s an all-Canadian triple-header, capping off with the second of four consecutive games between the Calgary Flames (7-5-1, 15 points) and the reeling Vancouver Canucks (6-11-0, 12 points). The Canucks out-played the Flames for two periods on Thursday, but somehow found a way to lose – their sixth setback in a row. Expect a desperate Canucks team in this one, as their playoff hopes are already dwindling.
The puck drops just after 8 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on CBC or Sportsnet’s national feed or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
For a view from the other side, visit the fine folks over at Canucks Army!
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Bennett
Lucic – Backlund – Mangiapane
Nordstrom – Froese – Leivo
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Mackey – Valimaki
Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The active extras are Brett Ritchie and Dominik Simon. The taxi squad is Louis Domingue, Connor Mackey, Oliver Kylington, Glenn Gawdin, Zac Rinaldo and Buddy Robinson. Per reporting from Kevin Woodley in Vancouver, it sure sounds Nikita Nesterov sits and Mackey is activated from the taxi squad and makes his NHL debut tonight.
The Flames have won three in a row, despite playing six really good periods in that span. The difference-maker in their three less-good periods was $6 million goalie Markstrom, who’s quickly making a case for himself in the Hart and Vezina races with his stellar play (which has allowed the Flames to overcome a few slow starts this season).
That said, the Flames do need to have better first periods so they don’t need to rely on Markstrom’s super-heroics too often.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Boeser – Pettersson – Miller
Pearson – Horvat – Hoglander
Roussel – Gaudette – Sutter
Eriksson – Beagle – Virtanen
Edler – Schmidt
Juolevi – Myers
Hughes – Benn
Tkatcher Demko starts for the Canucks, backed up by Braden Holtby. Their active extras are Jalen Chatfield and Zach MacEwen. Their taxi squad is Michael DiPietro, Guillaume Brisebois, Jack Rathbone, Brogan Rafferty and Marc Michaelis.
The knives are out for the #Canucks organization. @patersonjeff & @ThomasDrance try to make sense of where this season went wrong on a brand new VANcast
— Jeff Domet (@jeffdomet) February 12, 2021
Things are bad in Vancouver. Almost pitchforks and torches bad. Because after all the hope and joy of last year’s playoff run, they’re second-last in the North Division, third-last in the entire NHL, and they’ve lost six straight. Another L or two could spell serious changes on the coast.
Expect the Canucks to be like a desperate, cornered animal in tonight’s contest – perhaps even more than they were on Thursday.
|Points (%)||15 (.577)||12 (.353)|
|Adjusted Corsi For||52.2%||46.3%|
The drive to 65
If you peruse most standings projections, it becomes apparent that 65 points probably gets you into the playoffs. That’s a 32-23-1 record, or thereabouts, or a .580 points percentage.
The Flames have a 7-5-1 record, 15 points, and a .577 points percentage. They need 50 more points to punch their ticket to the post-season, the equivalent of a .581 points percentage over the remaining 43 games.
Unfit to play report
The Flames are without Derek Ryan.
The Canucks are without Justin Bailey, Tyler Motte, Travis Hamonic, Micheal Ferland and Jayce Hawryluk.
When last we met
The Flames have beaten Vancouver three times this season – by scores of 3-0, 5-2 and 3-1.
Know thy enemy
Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest: