It's pride versus the Presidents' Trophy when the Calgary Flames
and Vancouver Canucks
collide at the Scotiabank Saddleomde Thursday.
While the Canucks staring down the League lead, the Flames are simply left to play out their remaining two games of the season.
But there is something left on the line for Calgary, according to coach Brent Sutter
"There is, plain and simple, it is something you better have inside of you to have the pride to go out there for the front of the jersey and for our fans, for our ownership group, for the people that support this team so loyal and for themselves," Sutter said. "You shouldn't have to beg individuals to do that. You should have it internally inside you."
and David Moss
may have already had their last opportunity to display that pride.
After missing practice earlier in the week, neither will skate in the game with the Canucks. With another game Saturday afternoon against the Anaheim Ducks
, Sutter suggested the pair have already played their last games of the season.
"Neither of them are playing [tonight]," Sutter said. "Again, it’s day-to-day but you've got to assume that with it being less than 48 hours until the next game after tonight, if they're not playing tonight there's a chance neither one of them will be playing Saturday either."
Instead of Tanguay and Moss, the Flames will showcase Akim Aliu
, who is set to make his National Hockey League debut 19 days shy of his 23rd birthday.
"It's unbelievable," Aliu said. "It's a dream come true. I'm really exited. Sometimes you think this day will never come, but when it does come it's that much more special."
The Canucks do not have any players making their debut, but there's still plenty to play for throughout the lineup.
Vancouver is tied with the New York Rangers
heading into Game 81 with 109 points with home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs on the line. The Canucks are also just two points up on the St. Louis Blues
for the Western Conference lead.
"It's hugely important," said Cory Schneider
, who will start against the Flames. "You look at some of those teams and their home records, teams like St. Louis, Detroit, Nashville, Chicago, they're pretty unbeatable at home. If it comes down to a Game 7 in your building, that makes a huge difference.
"We still have something to play for. We're not taking anything lightly."
, recalled yesterday to replace Zack Kassian
, knows the importance of the two points.
"The team does have a lot of expectations and playoffs are right around the corner," he said. "It's an exciting time of year and I'm very happy to get a chance here."
Here are tonight's projected lineups:
- Olli Jokinen
- Jarome Iginla
- Matt Stajan
- Akim Aliu
- Blair Jones
- Lee Stempniak
- Lance Bouma
- Tim Jackman
- Jay Bouwmeester
- Cory Sarich
- Anton Babchuk
- Henrik Sedin
- Maxim Lapierre
- Ryan Kesler
- David Booth
- Samuel Pahlsson
- Jannik Hansen
- Manny Malhotra
- Byron Bitz
- Dan Hamhuis
- Christopher Tanev
- Sami Salo