SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME- CALGARY, AB
TV: SPORTSNET, CBC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: MATCHSTICKS & GASOLINE
The Canucks hope to get back in the win column tonight as they continue this 4 game season opening road swing with the first of 2 against the Calgary Flames. It’s gonna be a weird night, as we see Christopher Tanev, Jacob Markstrom and Josh Leivo in Flames colours for the first time (gross!), and it will also be the first meeting for Travis Hamonic against his former squad.
The Jacob Markstrom era in Calgary got off to a less than amazing start as they dropped their season opener to the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in OT Thursday night. He’ll get the start tonight for the Flames, and the Canucks will go back to Braden Holtby, who was solid in a 5-3 win for the Canucks on Wednesday night against the Oilers.
Canucks projected lineup
Jake Virtanen — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Nils Hoglander
Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Zack MacEwen
Tyler Motte — Jay Beagle — Brandon Sutter
Alexander Edler — Nate Schmidt
Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic
Olli Juolevi — Tyler Myers
Scratched: Loui Eriksson, Jalen Chatfield
Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (undisclosed), Micheal Ferland (head)
COVID—19 protocol: Jordie Benn, J.T. Miller
Flames projected lineup
Matthew Tkachuk — Elias Lindholm — Dillon Dube
Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Josh Leivo
Andrew Mangiapane — Mikael Backlund — Sam Bennett
Milan Lucic — Derek Ryan — Dominik Simon
Mark Giordano — Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin — Christopher Tanev
Juuso Valimaki — Nikita Nesterov
Scratched: Joakim Nordstrom, Louis Domingue
GAME DAY CHATTER
"It's been a strange couple of weeks, but I'm excited. I'm really happy to be a Canuck and I'm grateful for the opportunity." - Travis Hamonic pic.twitter.com/KnFTetK690— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 16, 2021
Travis Green on Travis Hamonic: It's going to probably take a little time before we see him at his absolute best...for a guy that missed training camp, he played pretty well. #Canucks— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) January 16, 2021
One thing to expect tonight (and for the foreseeable future) is the Canucks scrambling the lines up a little bit in the absence of J.T. Miller. Trying to find combinations that click is going to be one of the things Travis Green focuses on until he can get last season’s leading scorer back in the lineup. That means we should see Jake Virtanen back on top line duty with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser to start the game tonight. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess.
Overall, it’s probably better that the first meeting comes in Calgary. Far less pressure media-wise heading into this one as most of the focus will be on Markstrom and Tanev playing against their long-time former team. And while we thank them for their service over the years, the same program is in effect for former players. We were happy to have you, but you’re gone now. We don’t wish you success, because (especially this season) that could come at our expense.
One roster note: Justin Bailey was sent down to the taxi squad and Loui Eriksson was recalled. He won’t play tonight, but that reads like a threat from Travis Green for his troops to turn in a better performance than they did Thursday in Edmonton.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
With the upcoming release of ‘Royal Destroyer’ later this year, Swedish death-thrashers THE CROWN return for the first time since 2018’s ‘Cobra Speed Venom’. The first track off the new one is an absolute rager, and the perfect track to get you fired up for tonight. Check out Motordeath, and watch for this one on Metal Blade Records this spring.