The Canucks get a little respite from their home woes tonight when they head on the road to battle the Calgary Flames.
They say the best thing for a team after they've been spanked is to get right back in action. Unfortunately, that hasn't worked out very well at all for the Canucks who have suffered three consecutive convincing losses with very little push back. Miraculously the Canucks still have a winning streak they can point to and that's their active road win streak which sits at two games. Calgary, meanwhile, has lost back-to-back home games and three in a row overall.
Both the Canucks and Flames sit fairly back of the pack now as far as a Wildcard playoff spot is concerned. Calgary has a chance to pull to within a point of Vancouver with a regulation win tonight and still hold a game in hand at the end of the night. Expect to see Jacob Markstrom get the call against the Flames with the Canucks playing the back half of games on consecutive nights. Despite his recent struggles, Jonas Hiller's body of work against the Canucks this season should earn him the start tonight.
Puck drop at 6 pm PT – Live on Sportsnet Pacific, TSN 1040, or online at tsn1040.ca.
Regular Season Record
2015.16 Season Series
Last 10 games
Last 10 head-to-head
Keys to the Game
Refocus. No one wants to be embarrassed on home ice and with all the bad memories lately at Rogers Arena, the best thing for the Canucks is to get away for a while. Playing in another team's barn might just take some of the pressure off and let them find their game again.
Happy returns.While it won't be Jake Virtanen's first career game against the Flames, tonight will mark his first NHL game in the building he called home as a junior. You can bet he'll be fired up for his first game at the Saddledome and the Canucks will want to feed off his youthful exuberance.
Be good early. Forget the fact that the team scoring first has won every game so far in the season series. When you're facing a team with low confidence like the Canucks must have right now, the last thing you want to do is give them any sort of hope. One goal might just be enough if it's the first one.
Canucks Gameday Road Report, Presented by Toyota
By the Numbers
Regulation loss for the Canucks in their last six road outings (4-1-1; 2 straight wins).
Career start, and win, for Jacob Markstrom against the Flames (5-1 win on April 13, 2014).
Points each for Calgary's Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau, sharing the lead in the season series.
Intradivision wins for the Flames this season, tied with Edmonton for the fewest. Last season they led the division with 22 wins.
Combined points for the Sedins (2-6-8) during the Canucks' current three-game losing streak (rest of team: 9 points).
Time this season the Canucks will play on zero days rest. They are 5-1-2 in those games (3 straight wins).
- Whether they wanted to or not, barring further injury or trade, the Flames will be hitching their wagon to netminder Jonas Hiller after the season-ending injury sustained by Karri Ramo on February 11. Hiller certainly looked on top of his game when the Flames beat the Canucks 4-1 back on February 6. In three games since reclaiming the number one job however, he's allowed 12 goals on 75 shots and was yanked in one start.
- Hiller might be a Vezina Trophy candidate if he could play the Canucks every single night. He's 2-0-0 this season against Vancouver with a 1.46 GAA and a .954 save percentage.
- Hiller can't be blamed for all the Flames' defensive woes. The penalty killers deserve their fair share as well. Special teams have been quiet in the season series (the teams are a combined 0-for-3 with the man-advantage) but don't expect it to be that way tonight. Calgary is 6-for-23 on the power play (26.1 percent) over their last five games, but their penalty kill is a dreadful 14-for-15 (56 percent) during that same stretch.
- Offensively the Flames are rolling along just fine scoring 26 times in eight February games. Eight of those goals have come from the line of Monahan, Gaudreau, and Hudler who have combined for 26 points so far in the month. That's despite the fact Monahan and Gaudreau each sat out one game due to a team suspension.
- Hudler, Gaudreau, and Monahan have also been the driving force offensively against the Canucks this season combining for four goals and 11 points in three games. The rest of the team? Four goals and 10 points.
- The Flames' vaunted offensive defence has been uncharacteristically quiet against the Canucks this season. Only one blue-liner has scored a goal in the season series – Dougie Hamilton – although T.J. Brodie did have a two-assist night the last time the teams met.