Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm Back/Canucks & Flames Game Day

After being laptop-less for the past week-and-a-half, I'm lucky to be back on-line and prepare for the stretch drive into the NHL playoffs. Luckily I return as the Canucks enter the final week of the regular season with their chances still alive for home ice advantage in the first round.

The Canucks (42-27-10) need a victory to keep their hopes of a Northwest Division title alive as well as they entertain the Calgary Flames (45-28-6). The Canucks are 3-2-0 against the Flames in their head-to-head meetings this season, which includes overtime and shoot-out victories in Calgary. Daniel Sedin (3g,4a), Ryan Kesler (3g,2a), Henrik Sedin (1g,4a), and Alex Burrows (2g,2a) lead the Canucks in head-to-head scoring while Mike Cammalleri (4g,1a), Daymond Langkow (2g,3a), Jarome Iginla (1g,4a), and Rene Bourque (2g,2a) lead the Flames. Roberto Luongo has appeared in three of the five games, posting a 2.22 GAA and 92.6 Sv% while Mikka Kiprusoff has allowed 18 goals against (3.50GAA) and a 87.8Sv%.

The Canucks start the night with 94 points and an out-right loss to the Flames tonight would give Calgary the division title. The Canucks are winless in their last three and have been out-scored 15-9 in that stretch. Pavol Demitra has points in four straight games (2g,2a) and it's still up in the air on whether or not he'll be re-united on a line tonight with Kesler and Mats Sundin. Darcy Hordichuk will be back in the line-up tonight though in place of Jannik Hansen.

The Flames are coming off a 4-1 win at home last night against the Los Angeles Kings, but they've given up points in eight of their last nine road games. Due to injury troubles, they'll be short one forward tonight. Iginla has goals in three of his last four games, but they are having their fair share of troubles getting offense from some of their other top end forwards. Cammalleri has gone seven in a row without a goal while Olli Jokinen has gone 10 straight without scoring.

Here are the expected line-ups for both teams heading into tonight's game:


D. Sedin - H. Sedin - Burrows
Demitra - Sundin - Kesler
Raymond - Wellwood - Bernier
Hordichuk - Johnson - Rypien

Mitchell - Salo
Ohlund - Edler
Bieksa - O'Brien



Mike Cammalleri - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla
Todd Bertuzzi - Daymond Langkow - Jamie Lundmark
Curtis Glencross - Craig Conroy - David Moss
Warren Peters - Eric Nystrom

Jordan Leopold - Dion Phaneuf
Adam Pardy - Adrian Aucoin
Jim Vandermeer - Matt Pelech

Mikka Kiprusoff
Curtis McElhinney

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