CALGARY, AB -- What started as a stumble has turned into a full-on dive for the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks were 1-5-3 heading into their last meeting against the Flames, a 3-2 shootout win on Jan. 18 that started with plenty of fireworks and the ejections of eight players, a half month suspension to Vancouver coach John Tortorella and a fine to the Flames’ Bob Hartley.
Since the victory, the Canucks are just 3-11-1, including just one win in their past 10 games. The spin has dropped Vancouver from 7th to 11th and temporarily out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
This Season: 28-27-10, 57 points (11th in West)
Last Season: 26-15-7, 59 points (3rd in West)
Notable Injuries: Vancouver is without forward Daniel Sedin (lower body) and defenceman Andrew Alberts (concussion). Center Mike Santorelli (shoulder surgery) is gone for the season.
Flames Season Series Record: 0-1-2
Dalpe has scored Vancouver’s only goal in the past two games, a goal late in the second period of Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. The 24-year-old Paris, ON native has four goals and seven points in 46 games this season.
Sedin continues to struggle offensively and is still searching for his first post-Olympic point. The 33-year-old, who missed much of February with an upper body injury, has failed to register on the scoresheet in his past 11 contests dating back to an assist on Jan. 10. Still, he has nine goals and 40 points in 57 games this season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Reportedly asking to be moved at the NHL Trade Deadline, the Canucks couldn’t facilitate a move for Kesler, who leads Vancouver with 21 goals this season. The 29-year-old is in his 10th season with the Canucks after being selected 23rd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Acquired alongside Jacob Markstrom at the deadline in exchange for Roberto Luongo, Matthias had seven shots and was minus-2 in 16:43 of ice time in his debut with the Canucks. The former second round pick has nine goals and 16 points in 60 games this season.
With 15 fights on his card this season, Sestito is no stranger to the fisticuffs. His highest profile bout came against Brian McGrattan the last time the Flames and Canucks met, sparking a full on line brawl just seconds after puck drop.