It’s game day between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Things may be verging on awkward tonight in what will be Vancouver Defenseman Nikita Zadorov’s first game with his new club. It just so happens that the opposition will be his former team, The Calgary Flames.
As of the morning of Dec 2, The Flames find their record back to .500. Their 31st place, 2-6-1 October now in the distant past, the new-look 10-10-3 group has redefined their game to one that comes back to beat the odds. Five of the team’s eight November wins came after trailing in the third period. Here is your game day preview.
Calgary Flames (10-10-3, 23 pts) vs Vancouver Canucks (15-8-1, 31 pts)
Time: 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
TV: Sportsnet One, Sportsnet West, CityTV, Sportsnet Pacific
Flames Game Day Hits
Rick Tochett’s Canucks came out flying to start 2023-2024. Heading in to round one of Calgary and Vancouver’s four game season series on Nov 16, the Canucks had posted a 12-3-1 record. Including their 5-2 loss to Calgary, their record since then is a 26th-ranked 3-5-0.
Calgary since Nov 16? A 5-2-1 record is good for third in the NHL.
Oliver & Ilya
Two unexpected defensemen joined the main group for a skate on Friday. 2015 second round pick Oliver Kylington made his first appearance since the Flames organization announced that that Oliver would be unable to take part in training camp on Thursday Sept. 21.
The 26-year-old opened up about his struggles with mental health during the 2023 off season in an interview with hockeynews.se. “It was a challenging year for me personally. Things that (had) been going on in my family for a long time and it’s been escalating for the worse.”
There is no timetable for Oliver’s return. The 6-foot-0 Swede carries a $2,500,000 cap hit until July 1, 2024.
The other sighting, Ilya Solovyov, had been recalled from the Calgary Wranglers earlier that day. the 2020 seventh round draft pick has gotten into two games this season. The Flames have $4,283,334 in cap space after bringing up the physical defender and have one open roster spot remaining for another player.
The Calgary Flames have had issues at scoring while on the man advantage of late. In the last five games the group has failed to register a goal and even have been outscored by the opposition at 5v4.
Thursday night against Dallas featured some rapid puck movement sequences, but again couldn’t find the back of the net in two two-minute Dallas minors.
Per Producer of Donnie & Dhali Ryan Johnson, the Canucks earned 11 of their wins from teams not sitting in a playoff spot as of Dec 1.
Against teams sitting in a playoff position? Three wins.
Calgary Flames Projected Lineup
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