The NHL is set up with another great slate of games throughout Wednesday night. Five games are up on the board throughout February 17. One of these matchups will be between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames. These two teams have had slower starts to the season, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 10:00 PM Eastern time.
The Canucks have earned a record of 7-11-1 throughout the early stages of this season, which has them sitting in sixth place of the North Division. Vancouver lost their last game and has lost seven of their last eight. The Canucks are trying to avoid falling further in the standings with a win in this one. I expect the Canucks to come out stronger in this one as they look for a win.
Calgary has posted a record of 8-6-1 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in fifth place of the North Division. The Flames are coming off a win in their last game and has won four of their last five games. Calgary has struggled at times early in this season, but have grabbed a nice winning streak as of late. The Flames will look to keep it up with another win in this one.
These two teams are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the North Division, which should lead to a great game on Wednesday night. The Flames have been much better as of late though and they will look to carry that momentum into this one. Calgary is trying to catch the Edmonton Oilers in the playoff race and they need wins like this one.
The Canucks and the Flames have met up five times so far this season. The first two games of the season series were in Calgary. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist in the first game, while Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 of 32 shots as the Flames won 3-0. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist, while Sean Monahan had two assists in the second game. Calgary was able to grab a nice 5-2 win in that one.
The third game of the season series was in Vancouver on February 11. Brock Boeser scored a goal for the Canucks, which was not enough. Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist on the night. Sean Monahan added two assists, while Jacob Markstrom finished with 33 saves on 34 shots. The Flames were able to grab a 3-1 win on the night.
Vancouver also hosted the fourth game of the season series on February 13. Sam Bennett had a goal for Calgary, but this time the Flames came up short. Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers and Brandon Sutter all had a goal for the Canucks in this one. Thatcher Demko finished with 18 saves on 19 shots to lead Vancouver to a 3-1 win.
The Canucks hosted the fifth and most recent game in the season series on February 15. Brock Boeser tied it up late and added an assist on the night. Tyler Myers had two assists for Vancouver, but it would not be enough. Elias Lindholm had a goal and an assist, while Rasmus Andersson had two assists. Johnny Gaudreau scored the game winner in overtime to give the Flames a 4-3 win.
The Canucks have not been great on the power play, but have been solid on the penalty kill. Vancouver has capitalized on 12 of their 69 power play opportunities, which is a 17.4 percent power play. The Canucks have killed off 63 of the 77 penalties against them, which is an 81.8 percent kill rate. Vancouver will look to step up on the power play in this one.
Calgary’s power play has been off to a strong start, while their penalty kill has been solid. The Flames have scored on 13 of their 59 power play attempts, which is a 22 percent success rate. Calgary’s penalty kill has given up 11 goals on their opponents 53 power play chances, which is a 79.3 percent penalty kill. The Flames will look to step up on the kill against the Canucks.
These two teams match up pretty well on paper with their special teams units. The Canucks penalty kill has been solid, but will have their hands full once again with Calgary’s power play. The Flames have struggled a little bit on the penalty kill, but could get going against Vancouver’s power play. If either team can break through on special teams, it could give them the edge in this one.
I expect Braden Holtby to get the start between the pipes for Vancouver in this one. Holtby has started in 8 games this season, going 3-5 so far. He has earned a save percentage of .885 and a 3.75 GAA in those games. Holtby’s last start was against the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he stopped 16 of 19 shots in the losing effort.
Jacob Markstrom will likely get the start in the crease for the Flames on Wednesday night. Markstrom has posted a record of 8-4-1 through 13 starts this season. He has put up a .924 save percentage and a GAA of 2.38 in those games. Markstrom stopped 30 of 33 shots against the Canucks in their win on Monday night.
These two goalies have had very opposite starts with their new team this season. Holtby has had some rest since starting on February 8. He will look to come out much better as he goes back in net in this one. Markstrom has carried the load for Calgary entering this matchup and will look to keep up the strong play. I expect both goalies to try and set the pace with a strong start in this one.
The Flames have won four of their five games against Vancouver so far this season. The Canucks almost pulled off the comeback with a late goal on Monday night, but fell in overtime. I expect Vancouver to come out quicker in this one as they try to earn the win. If the Canucks can get a strong start from a rested Holtby, I think they can pull off the upset in this one.
BetOnline has Calgary listed as a -150 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Flames will win this game around 60 percent of the time. I think that with how many times these two teams have met up, it should be closer to even. The Canucks have struggled against Calgary, but I think they can grab a win in this one.