The NHL is set up with an exciting night of hockey on Monday. Ten games will be on the board throughout January 18. One of these matchups will be between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames. These two teams are looking for a big win after solid starts to the new season. This game will drop the puck at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
The Canucks finished out last season with a record of 36-27-6, which has them sitting in fourth place of the Pacific Division. Vancouver was able to knock off the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs before being bounced out by the Vegas Golden Knights. The Canucks started this season with a record of 1-2. Vancouver will look to bounce back after losing to the Flames on Saturday night.
Calgary put up a record of 36-27-7 throughout last season, which had them in third place of the Pacific Division. The Flames knocked out the Winnipeg Jets in the qualifiers, but lost to the Dallas Stars in the first round. Calgary has opened up this season with a record of 1-0-1. The Flames will look to keep the solid start going with another win against Vancouver in this one.
These two teams had similar record throughout last season. Vancouver was able to make a deeper playoff push, but still came up short. The Flames opened up this season series with a win and will look to carry momentum into this one. I expect both of these teams to come out hot on Monday night as they look for a win in a tough division.
The Canucks and the Flames met up three times throughout last season. Calgary hosted the first game on October 5. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists on the night. Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm both scored as well. Cam Talbot turned away all 34 shots he faced as the Flames were able to pull away with a 3-0 win.
The second game of the season series stayed in Calgary on December 29. Matthew Tkachuk had two assists, while Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin both scored. It was not enough for the Flames though. Tyler Myers and Tanner Pearson both had two goals and an assist. Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat both had two points as well. Vancouver finished with a 5-2 win on the road.
The final game of the season series shifted to Vancouver on February 8. Tanner Pearson and Adam Gaudette both scored for the Canucks, which was not enough. Dillon Dube had a goal and two assists. Milan Lucic, Derek Ryan, Mikael Backlund and Johnny Gaudreau each had two points for the Flames. David Rittich stopped 25 of 27 shots as Calgary won 6-2.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 16. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist on the night. Dillon Dube and Sean Monahan both scored a goal for the Flames as well to help lead Calgary to a win. Jacob Markstrom stopped all 32 shots he faced in his debut against his former team. The Flames were able to finish the night off with a 3-0 win.
Vancouver was strong on both sides of special teams throughout last season. The Canucks were able to capitalize on 57 of their 236 power play opportunities last season, which was good for a 24.2 percent success rate. Vancouver also killed off 173 of the 215 of their opponents power play chances, which is an 80.5 percent penalty kill.
The Flames had a strong power play and penalty kill last season as well. Calgary finished out last season scoring on 41 of their 193 power play attempts, which was a 21.1 percent power play. The Flames penalty kill gave up 35 power play goals on 196 chances, which is an 82.1 percent kill rate. Calgary will look to get back to this form this season.
These two teams were really similar on special teams last season. The Canucks have not scored on any of their 11 power play attempts this season and have given up 5 goals on 14 power play chances. Calgary has scored on 4-9 power play opportunities, while killing off 7 of 8 power plays against them. The Flames scored three goals on the power play in the first meeting with Vancouver and will look to repeat that success.
Braden Holtby will likely get the start in the crease for Vancouver in this one. Holtby has started in two of the Canucks first three games, going 1-1. He has put up a save percentage of .909 and a 3.01 GAA through those games. Holtby had a bit of an off season last season, posting a .897 save percentage and a GAA of 3.11. He will look to bounce back in this one.
I expect Jacob Markstrom to get the start in the net for the Flames on Monday night. Markstrom has posted a record of 1-0-1 as he has started both of Calgary’s games. He has earned a save percentage of .939 and a GAA of 1.98 so far this season. Markstrom had a .918 save percentage and a 2.75 GAA last season with Vancouver.
Both of these goalies are trying to settle in with their new team. Markstrom has been off to a stronger start this season and will look to repeat his success in his first game against the Canucks. Holtby has been solid to open up this season, but will need some more offense in front of him in this one. I think that Vancouver will come out hotter in this one as they try to break through on Markstrom.
The Flames were able to come out hot against Vancouver on Saturday night and will look to do so again in this one. Calgary was able to shut down the Canucks offense in that one, but I do not think they will pull that off again. If Vancouver can come out better in this one, they should be able to earn a win on Monday night.
BetOnline has the Flames listed as a -128 against the money line in this one. This implies that Calgary will win this game around 56.1 percent of the time. The Flames looked good on Saturday night, but I expect the Canucks to come out better in this one. Vancouver will need to give Holtby some help and if they can get special teams going, they should be able to knock off the Flames.