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Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks game preview: Happy Valentine’s Day, we hate you

On this day meant for love and hockey, the Flames host the Vancouver Canucks, a team nobody should love. Because they're the Vancouver Canucks. Ew.



The Calgary Flames are coming off of what may very well have been their worst game this season. And yet, even with no help from the out of town scoreboard, they remain eighth in Western Conference team point percentage. They still control their destinies when it comes to the playoffs. They’ll just need to put up a much, much better performance against the Vancouver Canucks: a divisional rival with whom they’re in direct competition with for a playoff spot.

This is the final meeting between the Flames and Canucks this season, barring a playoff matchup. Vancouver took the first two games, but at long last, Joni Ortio struck back for Calgary, earning his first NHL shutout in the 1-0 victory that snapped a nine-game losing streak, dating all the way back to Apr. 6, 2013. Ew. The Canucks have earned four points against Calgary this season to the Flames’ three, so a regulation Flames win would give them the season series. That would be good.

Because while the Flames still control their destiny, they need to do a better job on the ice. The Flames were undefeated against the Los Angeles Kings this season until their most recent game, when LA, apparently tired of Johnny Gaudreaus and crazy overtime winners, absolutely thrashed the Flames in a 5-3 win for them: and that score really flatters the Flames. Mason Raymond scored twice, and David Jones got on the board as well, but they were honestly never in the game. | Recap | Stats | Boxscore | Jonathan Quick still broke his stick after being scored on twice in 32 seconds, though, and it was hilarious:

The Canucks, meanwhile, have pulled ahead of the Flames by two points, with a game in hand. They’re doing jerkbag things, like winning, which is very unhelpful. After giving up five goals to the San Jose Sharks, they scored five on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then they gave up five goals to the Minnesota Wild, but scored five on the Chicago Blackhawks to win in overtime. And then they defeated the Boston Bruins 5-2 just last night. Shawn Matthias, the guy the Canucks traded Roberto Luongo for, had a hat trick.

The Canucks broke the pattern. This means they're gonna give up five goals tonight, right? For better assessment, head on over to Nucks Misconduct.

Game time: 8:00 p.m. MT

Channel: CBC, TVA2 – for it is Hockey Night in Canada on Hockey Day in Canada!

All-time record: Canucks win streak Shmanucks shmin smheak. That's gone now, and hopefully won't return. In the meantime, the Flames have the serious historical edge, what with the 141-103-33-13 all-time record, and +53 goal differential.

Common threads: Both teams have Swiss defencemen. Yannick Weber is from Morges, Switzerland, while our own very lovely and wonderful Rafa Diaz hails from Baar, Switzerland. So. Lots of neutral zone play tonight?

Approaching milestones: Deryk Engelland: eight more games to 300. TJ Brodie: eight more points to 100. Who will get there first??

Jannik Hansen: two more assists to 100. … How about not tonight bud? Hey thanks.

Scoreboard watching: Relevant games tonight in the Flames' quest for the playoffs are:

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks
Record: 30-22-3: 63 points Record: 31-20-3: 65 points
Pacific Division: 4th Pacific Division: 3rd
Western Conference: 8th Western Conference: 7th
Goal Differential: +17 Goal Differential: +11
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (25:10 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:18 per game)
Defence: Alexander Edler (24:24 per game)
Forward: Henrik Sedin (18:44 per game)
Goals: Sean Monahan (17)
Assists: Mark Giordano (33)
Points: Mark Giordano (44)
Goals: Radim Vrbata (21)
Assists: Henrik Sedin (37)
Points: Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin (46
Shots on goal: Mark Giordano (141)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (17.0%)
Shots on goal: Radim Vrbata (172)
Shooting percentage: Linden Vey (18.6%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (49.9%, 1209 taken) Brad Richardson (48.4%, 556 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (52)
Hits: Lance Bouma (178)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (175)
Penalty minutes: Derek Dorsett (128)
Hits: Derek Dorsett (107)
Blocked shots: Chris Tanev (129)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team’s games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (49.2%, 55 GP)
Jiri Hudler (48.9%, 52 GP)
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (49.9%, 39 GP)
Jiri Hudler (49.5%, 52 GP)
Corsi for%: Henrik Sedin (53.8%, 54 GP)
Daniel Sedin (53.2%, 54 GP)
Fenwick for%: Chris Tanev (54.6%, 52 GP)
Henrik Sedin (54.3%, 54 GP)

Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund David Jones
Curtis Glencross Josh Jooris Mason Raymond
Joe Colborne Matt Stajan Paul Byron
Left Defence Right Defence
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Rafa Diaz Deryk Engelland
Karri Ramo
Jonas Hiller

Vancouver Canucks
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins Linden Vey Radim Vrbata
Derek Dorsett Shawn Matthias Zack Kassian
Ronalds Kenins Bo Horvat Jannik Hansen
Left Defence Right Defence
Alexander Edler Chris Tanev
Dan Hamhuis Luca Sbisa
Ryan Stanton Adam Clendening
Eddie Lack
Ryan Miller

Brandon Bollig is scratchable? Ohhh my gosh. Is this it? Have we seen the light? The Flames absolutely need to win this game now. Not just for the two points, but to get the forward lineup to stay as is.

Also interesting to note: Sam Bennett was skating alongside Bollig and David Wolf, and not in a no-contact jersey. Based on how things are going, I’m getting the feeling when he’s activated, Bennett and Wolf will go down to Adirondack together: Wolf for reassignment, and Bennett for conditioning. (Remember: Bennett isn’t on the active roster, and someone will need to be sent down in order for him to be on a conditioning stint.)

by Ari Yanover