vs. Calgary Flames (23-24-3) Saturday, February 6th
Leading scorer: Johnny Gaudreau (20 goals, 47 points)
Keys to the game:
- Old-school Sedinery
- Special teams domination
- Returning last year’s favours
How fitting to relive that line brawl.
Whenever the Calgary Flames come to town, I look to the Sedins to continue their career-long domination over the Albertan teams. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Sedins are going to have to dominate and give the Canucks a win — and a dagger to Calgary’s playoff chances. This is a four-point game for all intents and purposes.
The Flames have the worst special teams in the league. Calgary’s 13.5 percent success rate on the man advantage is the worst in the league and its penalty kill is the second-worst in the league. For the Canucks and all the unfavourable calls they have gotten, it sure sounds like a blessing.
Lastly, the Canucks should look to exact some revenge. They weren’t able to do so in October. Now that Luca Sbisa is back in the lineup, give them a taste of their own medicine. Run them into their own end and pin them down one by one. After all, the Flames do not have Michael Ferland in the lineup due to an upper body injury.
They also do not have Dennis Wideman available after this happened before the All-Star break.
This is going to be a tough one for the Canucks. If they win, it is going to be a “five-point-win” because of how much confidence is at stake. But after seeing Johnny Hockey do some things at the All-Star game… I don’t know anymore. It will be the goaltenders who will decide the fate of the game.
The team will be hungry to have a good effort in multiple games in a row and set themselves up for these final 32 games. I will take the Canucks in OT.
Calgary will be without Wideman, but TJ Brodie has been back for a few games and improving. I will take the Flames on this one.
The match-up against the Flames will be a tough one for sure. But Vancouver will have to beat them if they want to make the playoffs.
Next: The Bottomline