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Just A Fly In The Ointment, Hans: Flames @ Canucks

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Your Pacific Division slap fight is a go! No groin kicks please.

Classless. All around.
Classless. All around.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Before we trash on ever-trashable Cowtown, can we pause and respect the life of Alan Rickman? Seriously. We have to stop losing the good ones.

...and now the good guys look to end a three game skid at home against an equally underwhelming Pacific Division foe who has bragging rights because they lost later than Vancouver did in the playoffs last season. Getting Dan Hamhuis back is a wonderful story, but doesn't solve the scoring woes so they'll look (once again) towards the recently-reunited Honey Badger first line along with Bo/Baert on the secondary to carry the rough assignments with Vey and Sutter running clean-up.

You'd glance across the ice at a Flames team that can't get anything right - short of illegally checking an official and damn it I almost got through the third paragraph without reminding you that if a Canuck checked an official and then blamed the swirling birds around his head no one would believe him and oh wait crap nevermind carry on - and assume the Canucks can take the points. But after dropping a third period lead against the worst team in the league a few nights ago, nothing is for certain. Even if Calgary coughs up more goals against. Even if their starting goalie has a worst S%. Even if both their PK and PP are somehow, comically, worse than Vancouver's.

Nothing is easy and both teams need the points to chase a post season neither really belong in at this point. So, despite all the negatives, we can at least expect a classic Hockey in Canada battle. Win/win.

Human Guinea Pig Formations

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata

Alexandre Burrows - Linden Vey - Emerson Etem

Jared McCann - Brandon Sutter - Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev

Dan Hamhuis - Alex Biega

Ben Hutton - Luca Sbisa

Ryan Miller

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Sam Bennett - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Micheal Ferland - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Lance Bouma - Joe Colborne - Josh Jooris

Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie

Kris Russell - Dougie Hamilton

Ladislav Smid - Deryk Engelland

Karri Ramo

Three Questions

1. Neither team can afford to throw out points in the woeful Pacific Division race. So who will suck less and why?

2. Will Vancouver decide to take loser point for a league-leading 13th time in OT?

3. Johnny Gaudreau is how old again? I forget, so please remind me every 30 seconds. Please and thank you.

Fearless Predictions

Glancing at the wild card, the Wild are slip sliding away, Arizona is idle and both the Preds and Avs play tonight. If the Canucks can keep pace with a win, it sets up a huge game on Wednesday against Arizona who they'll be tied with. Let's pretend everyone still cares and won't lose with the eyes of a sad nation rooting for anything to root for. 3-2 Canucks win with Baert reminding Burke he ain't all that bad.

Rly. In Rickman we trust.