Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames (10/16/09)


Vancouver Canucks
(2-3-0)

League Standing: 23rd
Western Conference Standing: 13th
Northwest Division Standing: 4th

vs


Calgary Flames
(4-2-1)

League Standing: 5th
Western Conference Standing: 4th
Northwest Division Standing: 2nd

Game Time: 7:00pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific, Rogers Sportsnet West (TV), Fan960 (Radio)

Recent News:

The Calgary Flames, following a hot start to the regular season, have found themselves in a rut over the past three games. After a 4-0-0 start, the Flames are 0-2-1 in their last three games. In what could possibly be viewed as the lowest point so far this season for Brent Sutter’s Flames, Calgary choked up a five goal lead against Chicago on Monday night, losing 6-5 in overtime to the Blackhawks. Following a 2-1 loss in Columbus on Tuesday, Coach Sutter was prompted to shake up the lines.

After opening the season in quite the opposite manner of the Flames, the Canucks have finally gotten on a roll. Following three season-opening losses, Vancouver defeated Montreal decisively by a score of 7-1. The Canucks then topped the Dallas Stars 4-3 this past Sunday. Michael Grabner was recently recalled from the Manitoba Moose of the AHL to help take the place of many Canuck regulars who currently find themselves in the sick/injury bay.

Last Meeting:

In the regular season opener for both teams, the Flames triumped 5-3 over the visiting Canucks. Miikka Kiprusoff, Mark Giordano, and Henrik Sedin were named the Three Stars for the evening. Despite outshooting Calgary by a margin of 42-23, the Canucks could not overcome the strong play of Kiprusoff.

Goaltenders:

Calgary- Following two days off, fans can expect to see Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes again for the Flames. So far this season Kiprusoff is sporting a 4-1-1 record alongside a 0.903 SV% and 3.31 GAA. His backup, Curtis McElhinney is 0-1-0 in one start, with a 0.862 SV% and 4.00 GAA.

Vancouver- With four days of rest, Roberto Luongo is the most likely candidate to be manning the crease for the Canucks. 2-3-0 in his first five games, Luongo has a 0.879 SV% and 3.33 GAA. His backup, Andrew Raycroft, has no decisions and a 0.917 SV% paired with a 1.82 GAA.

Key Players:

Calgary- While Rene Bourque continues to tear along at a surprising pace (9 points in 7 games), Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen will be the players to watch on Friday evening. With only 4 points and 5 points in 7 games respectively, Iginla and Jokinen have been split up by Brent Sutter. It will be interesting to see how each player responds to the “change in scenery”. Iginla will be playing with Craig Conroy and Curtis Glencross, while Olli Jokinen will see ice time with Eric Nystrom and Fredrik Sjostrom.

A player who has yet to have a significant impact for the Flames this season is Cory Sarich. Monday night, the defenseman returned to action for the first time this season after being held out by a foot injury. With two games under his belt, Sarich will be expected to help stabilize the Calgary blueline, which has been suspect at times so far this season.

Vancouver-– With his strong play, Ryan Kesler has helped to propel the Canucks to their past two victories. With 5 points in 5 games so far this season, last year’s Selke Trophy nominee has also shown fans that he produce in the offense end as well. With Kesler scoring on 22% of his shots, expect him to make the most of his chances.

So far this season, Kyle Wellwood has been a disappointment for the Vancouver Canucks. After putting up 27 points last season, and also alongside the departure of Mats Sundin, Wellwood was expected to take on a more important offensive role this season. In 5 games, the diminutive center has zero points. Wellwood has averaged close to 14 minutes on the so far this season, but only has four shots on net.

Tough Customers:

Calgary- With three fighting majors to his name so far this season, Brandon Prust has been a character that no one wants to get involved with. His quick skating and energetic play have caused chaos in opposition ends. The 5’10 forward has yet to back down from any challenger. With the return of Brian McGrattan to the lineup this week, the Flames grit has also received a significant boost.

Vancouver- Darcy Hordichuk is the local policeman for the Canucks. While he has yet to chuck ‘em this season, it doesn’t mean that the feisty veteran still doesn’t have it in him.

Special Teams Review:

Calgary- The Flames powerplay is firing away at 41.2%. Rene Bourque and Dion Phaneuf lead the team in powerplay markers with two apiece. The Flames penalty kill, following early season struggles, has recovered to 81.8% efficiency. Miikka Kiprusoff has arguably been Calgary’s top penalty killer.

Vancouver- The Canucks powerplay sits at a solid 36.8%. Mikael Samuelsson leads the powerplay charge, with two powerplay goals to his name. As for the penalty kill, Vancouver has struggled so far this season in that department. Their penalty kill is bumbling around with a 66.7% efficiency.

Probable Lines:

Calgary-

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

Bouwmeester-Sarich
Regehr-Phaneuf
Pardy-Giordano


Injuries:

Calgary-
David Moss (upper body) is questionable for tonight’s matchup

Vancouver- Sami Salo (knee), Daniel Sedin (foot), Mathieu Schneider (shoulder), Pavol Demitra (shoulder), and Jannik Hansen (broken hand) are all on the injured reserve.

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~ by manovrboard on October 15, 2009.

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