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Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks game preview: Please god let the losing streak end

If there's one team it would be nice to stop the bleeding against, it's definitely this one.



Oh no. Ohhhh no. It’s a super quick turnaround for the Calgary Flames, as following their seventh straight loss, they’ve jetted off to Vancouver to take on the Canucks and hopefully get back to the winning ways that seem so long ago. And man. If there’s a team you really want to do it against, it’s these guys, isn’t it? Forget about divisional and playoff implications. The Canucks are a rival, and beating them in normal circumstances is pretty great already. Snapping a lengthy losing streak against them would be even better. Not to mention, it’s sorely needed, eh?

Just last night, the Flames hosted the Dallas Stars. They were very gracious hosts, as the Stars kinda ran roughshod over them, and off the backs of Jamie Benn and Trevor Daley goals, cruised to a 2-1 victory. Despite Mark Giordano’s goal, the Flames just weren’t able to put up a stronger effort against Kari Lehtonen, and whimpered away with another regulation loss, forever stuck at 36 points. | Recap | Stats recap | Boxscore | Hey, at least Gio remains the highest scoring defenceman in the league:

The good news? The Canucks are on a losing streak of their own! Not seven games, but losing five in a row sucks pretty bad as well. They’ve dropped contests to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and those very same Dallas Stars in their last five, outscored 19-7. The loss to Ottawa came in overtime, so the Canucks managed to pick up a single point in their recent skid, but it’s probably not much of a consolation.

At least someone's guaranteed a win tonight. Hopefully it'll be the good guys. (The good guys are, always have been, and always will be the Flames.) To catch up with the enemy, be sure to visit our Canucks sister blog, Nucks Misconduct.

Game time: 8:00 p.m. MT

Channel: CBC – it's a Hockey Night in Canada game, friends!

All-time record: The Flames hold the Canucks to a 140-103-33-12 all-time record, and a +53 goal differential. That's good and I like that and please, please, please let's improve on that tonight, pleeeeaaaassee.

Common threads: Ryan Miller and Jonas Hiller have rhyming last names. That’s about all I got for you. That and the fact that, well, both teams had high draft picks last season (the Canucks took Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen, if that counts as a commonality, sixth overall) and underwent/are currently undergoing retooling phases. The Flames are in full-on rebuild at this point, while the Canucks seem to be back on the upswing. I guess we’ll see how long that lasts, what with their aging star players and all, ’cause we know nothing about going down that path, noooooope…

Also one time Chris Higgins played 12 NHL games for the Flames. He scored two goals and an assist in his time with us. It was very eventful.

Approaching milestones: Jiri Hudler is still sitting at 198 assists, so 200 on the career is definitely reachable tonight. Please reach it.

Also, guy-who-doesn't-score-much-but-looks-better-recently, otherwise known as Deryk Engelland, is sitting pretty at 49 points. He has no goals and two assists as a Flame thus far. Hey, a 50th point would be great to get tonight though, wouldn't it? C'mon Deryk it's just around the corner you can do it.

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks
17-15-2: 36 points 18-11-2: 38 points
Pacific Division: 5th Pacific Division: 3rd
Western Conference: 9th Western Conference: 7th
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (24:48 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:31 per game)
Defence: Alexander Edler (24:17 per game)
Forward: Daniel Sedin (19:06 per game)
Goals: Jiri Hudler (13)
Assists: Mark Giordano (23)
Points: Mark Giordano (32)
Goals: Radim Vrbata (12)
Assists: Henrik Sedin (20)
Points: Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin (26)
Shots on goal: Sean Monahan (90)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (20.3%)
Shots on goal: Radim Vrbata (106)
Shooting percentage: Linden Vey (20.7%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (49.7%, 733 taken) Henrik Sedin (50.6%, 601 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (40)
Hits: Lance Bouma (104)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (102)
Penalty minutes: Derek Dorsett (70)
Hits: Derek Dorsett (77)
Blocked shots: Chris Tanev (78)
Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team’s games played)

Corsi for%: Jiri Hudler (48.6%, 33 GP)
Mark Giordano (48.2%, 34 GP)
TJ Brodie (48.2%, 34 GP)
Fenwick for%: Jiri Hudler (49.6%, 33 GP)
Johnny Gaudreau (49.6%, 33 GP)

Corsi for%: Henrik Sedin (55.7%, 30 GP)
Daniel Sedin (54.8%, 30 GP)
Fenwick for%: Christopher Tanev (56.6%, 30 GP)
Alexander Edler (56.0%, 30 GP)

Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Joe Colborne Sean Monahan David Jones
Johnny Gaudreau Josh Jooris Jiri Hudler
Curtis Glencross Markus Granlund Paul Byron
Mason Raymond Lance Bouma Brandon Bollig
Left Defense Right Defense
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz Deryk Engelland
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

Vancouver Canucks
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins Nick Bonino Jannik Hansen
Shawn Matthias Brad Richardson Linden Vey
Derek Dorsett Bo Horvat Alexandre Burrows
Left Defense Right Defense
Alexander Edler Chris Tanev
Luca Sbisa Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Stanton Yannick Weber
Ryan Miller
Eddie Lack

The Flames are breaking tradition tonight, as Jonas Hiller gets consecutive starts, probably thanks to Karri Ramo still feeling under the weather (no mumps!). Rounding things out, the Flames' lineup could change because Josh Jooris is a game time decision thanks to a blocked shot in last night's loss to the Stars. His sitting out would break up the only consistent line the Flames have had throughout the losing streak.

by Ari Yanover