Canucks At Flames Preview: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Time Sunday, 4:30 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting
5-4 Canucks, Oct. 6/13
The Enemy Matchsticks And Gasoline Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 12-21-33
Hudler: 11-22-33
CANUCKS
CATEGORY
FLAMES
22-11-6 SEASON RECORD 14-18-6
50 POINTS 34
6th CONFERENCE POSITION 13th
Won 2
STREAK Lost 1
8-1-1 LAST 10 4-4-2
11-6-3 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 7-8-3
2.67 (13)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 2.42 (22)
2.28 (5) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 3.10 (26)
1.10 (11) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 0.76 (27)
15.3 (23) POWER PLAY % 14.6 (26)
89.4 (1) PENALTY KILL % 81.8 (17)
51.1 (14) FACEOFF WINS % 45.4 (30)
751 (26) HITS
839 (18)
591 (9) BLOCKED SHOTS 698 (2)
138 (11) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 134 (7)
NHL.COM

Well at least it's a short trip to Calgary for the Canucks' 1 game on the road before flying back home the same night to play the Flyers at The Rog on Monday night.

The Canucks are 3-0 in their last 3 games following a Christmas Break and 4-1 in their last 5 in that scenario. I guess all that stuffing doesn't bother them. Nor does the fact that they have played the shitty Oilers twice in there.

The Canucks are 16-3-3 in their last 22 games vs the Flames, and 7-2-1 in their last 10 games in Calgary. Including this game, the Canucks will play the Flames 4 more times this season. They are games that they need to win against a weaker opponent. Same with the game on Monday vs the Flyers. Gotta win those because the tougher teams are coming up very soon on the schedule. I saw the Flyers / Oilers game on Saturday. The Flyers are not that good (the Oilers are f***ing terrible).

The Canucks remain in 6th spot in the West, 1 point ahead of the Avalanche and 5 points ahead of the 9th place Minnesota Wild. The race is far from over. The Canucks are far from being in the clear. They gotta clear the Xmas cobwebs after a week-long holiday (which they completely deserved) and come out ready in this one.

PROJECTED CANUCKS ROSTER

Sedin - Sedin - Hansen

Higgins - Kesler - Santorelli

Booth - Richardson - Kassian

Sestito - Dalpe - Weise

Hamhuis - Tanev

Weber - Garrison

Alberts - Bieksa

In goal: Eddie Lack

Injuries: Roberto Luongo (groin), Alexandre Burrows (jaw), Alex Edler (lower body), Ryan Stanton (ankle), Jordan Schroeder (ankle).

Noticed: The Canucks continue to dish out less hits but much more importantly, take less penalties.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

NHL hockey in Alberta sucks. The Oilers and Flames are in the tank and won't make the playoffs this season. One thing that I read somewhere, was that even Oilers fans noticed that the Flames team works hard and that was admirable.

TOP 5 FLAMES SCORERS

1. Jiri Hudler: 11-22-33

2. Mike Cammalleri: 12-8-20

3. Mark Giordano: 5-12-17

4. Matt Stajan: 6-10-16

5. Sean Monahan: 10-6-16

PROJECTED FLAMES ROSTER

Galiardi - Stajan - Stempniak

Cammalleri - Backlund (may not play) - Paul Byron

David Jones - Joe Colborne - Hudler

Bouma - Monahan - McGrattan

Smid - Giordano

Butler - Brodie

O'Brien - Christopher Breen

In Goal: Rito Berra

Injuries:

Dennis Wideman (hand), Curtis Glencross (ankle), Blair Jones (knee), Mikael Backlund (questionable for game vs Canucks). Flames may use 11 forwards vs Vancouver.

QUOTING

From the Calgary Sun:

Burke, the president of hockey operations and acting GM, let it be known when he lowered the boom on Jay Feaster and assistant GM John Weisbrod a couple of weeks ago that a rebuild of the team can’t come fast enough for him.

He also said he wants the Flames to be more of a black-and-blue squad.

Until somebody is moved into the GM office at the Saddledome, Burke’s the man fully in charge of making any deals to mould the team into the image he envisions.

In regards to the Flames' goaltending "drama, coach Bob Hartley said Saturday:

"Hey, we have two guys that can win some games for us," Hartley said. "Whenever we call their number, they’re ready. It’s a nice problem to have. Both guys want to play, there’s only one net. But right now, we’re playing the guy that gives us a chance to win and the good part is both guys are giving us a chance to win."

Their stats are decent (Berra is 5-9-2, .904 save percentage, 2.96 goals against average; Ramo is 6-6-3, .904, 2.79). But at the moment, the Flames are allowing 3.10 goals per game which is No. 26 in the NHL. Not great.

However, goaltending has been a big reason why they’ve been able to tighten up as of late.

More on that at The Calgary Herald.

Did you know: The Flames have played an NHL-leading 25 one-goal games. Wow. Too bad that doesn't lead to playoff spots.

The Flames went 4-2-0 in the first 2 weeks of December and then 1-3-2 over the following 2 weeks leading up to this game. Calgary lost their last game 2-0 to those crappy Oilers, but that doesn't mean they don't compete.

TRENDS

  • Canucks are 7-1 in their last 8 games following a win.
  • Canucks are 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Canucks are 9-2 in their last 11 overall.
  • Canucks are 5-13 in their last 18 Sunday games.
  • Canucks are 2-7 in their last 9 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
  • Flames are 6-2 in their last 8 Sunday games.
  • Flames are 4-10 in their last 14 home games.
  • Flames are 7-18 in their last 25 vs. Western Conference.
  • Flames are 1-4 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

Nobody picked a 2-1 score prior to the Canucks-Jets game and nobody ever picks Chris Tanev to score the winner. The Wizards List can be seen here. Still a big clusterf**** at top spot!

VIDEO

The last meeting:

Super ending hey? Atta boy, Juice!

Domination of the Flames:

The title of this preview post has been brought to you by a young Black Sabbath:

GO CANUCKS GO!

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