Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames (10/01/09)



Vancouver Canucks
(0-0-0)


Calgary Flames
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Recent News:

Calgary finished their preseason with a 3-2-2 mark. Theoren Fleury was the story of the preseason, making a valiant attempt to stage a comeback to the National Hockey League following a six-year absence. That heartwarming story will not carry over to the regular season as Fleury was one of the last cuts by Darryl Sutter as training camp came to a conclusion. Jason Jaffray is the next feel good story, and one that carries over to the regular season. After years of toiling in the minors, the veteran pro from nearby Rimbey, Alberta is on the opening night roster for the Flames. Jaffray posted 49 points in 56 games for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose in 2008-09.

In stark comparison to the Flames, Vancouver finished their preseason with an astounding 7-0-2 record. Roberto Luongo saw nearly four full games of play and posted phenomenal numbers, with a 1.30 GAA and a 0.947 SV%. Apart from Luongo’s astounding play, the Canucks preseason success was also helped along by the play of newcomer Sergei Shirokov. The soft handed Russian netted seven points in preseason. His strong performance was ultimately a factor in the Canucks assigning blue chip prospect Cody Hodgson back to his junior ranks.

Last Meeting:

In Calgary’s final preseason tune up, the Canucks stole the show with a 2-1 shootout victory. Both starting goaltenders, Roberto Luongo and Miikka Kiprusoff stood on their heads in what was a goaltending showdown that is sure to be repeated when these teams go head-to-head in the regular season.

Key Players:

Calgary- Nigel Dawes had a strong preseason performance for the Flames. Watch for Dawes to be buzzing around on the ice tonight. He is most likely to draw a slot on one of the top two lines and will more than likely see a lot of special teams play as well. Dawes strong two way abilities have allowed him to be quite successful within the new system that Brent Sutter has implemented in Calgary. Another player to watch for Calgary is Olli Jokinen. The Finn bulldozed his way through the preseason in similar to fashion to how he played upon first arriving in Calgary at last year’s trade deadline. Whether or not Jokinen can sustain this type of play over an entire season is yet to be seen. With Calgary losing primary scoring from Mike Cammalleri, and secondary scoring from Todd Bertuzzi over the offseason, it will be imperative for Jokinen to improve upon last season’s 57 points.

Vancouver- As mentioned earlier, Sergei Shirokov played like a man possessed during preseason action. The Canucks will rely on him to provide offense all season long. People league wide will be watching to see if Shirokov can translate that strong preseason into a great regular season. Once again, Roberto Luongo will be the man to beat in between the pipes Vancouver this season. With a strong preseason under his belt, and an Olympic roster spot looming, expect Luongo to continue his strong play. Lastly, one of two key additions made in the offseason will make their Canucks debuts tonight. The acquisition of Christian Ehrhoff from the San Jose Sharks and Mathieu Schneider via free agency brings experience, offense, stability, and much needed depth to the Canucks blueline. With Schneider shelved with a shoulder injury, Ehrhoff will be the one to watch.

Injuries-

Calgary- none
Vancouver- Jannik Hansen (broken hand), Pavol Demitra (shoulder), Mathieu Schneider (shoulder)

Probable Rosters/Lines-

Calgary-
Moss-Jokinen-Iginla
Dawes-Langkow-Bourque
Glencross-Conroy-Boyd
Prust-Nystrom-Sjostrom

Regehr-Bouwmeester
Phaneuf-Giordano
Pardy-Sarich

Kiprusoff
McElhinney

Vancouver-
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows
Shirokov – Kesler – Samuelsson
Raymond – Wellwood – Bernier
Hordichuk – Johnson – Rypien

Mitchell – Salo
Edler – Ehrhoff
Bieksa – O’Brien

Luongo
Raycroft

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~ by manovrboard on October 1, 2009.

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