The NHL is set up with a great night of hockey throughout February 11. Ten games are up on the board throughout Thursday night. The Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks will meet up in one of those games on Thursday. These two teams have not had the best starts, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 10:00 PM Eastern time.
The Flames have earned a record of 6-5-1 throughout the early part of this season, which has them sitting in fifth place of the North Division. Calgary has won back to back games entering this one. The Flames will look to build off of that as they try to move up in the standings. If Calgary can come out hot in this one, it could help them earn the win.
Vancouver has put up a record of 6-10 so far this season, which has them in sixth place of the North Division. The Canucks have lost five straight games coming into this one. Vancouver has hit a tough wall in their last two series and will look to get out of their funk in this one. The Canucks will need to turn it around before it gets too late.
These two teams have both put up six wins so far this season, but it has been Calgary that has played less games. The Canucks had a positive record before this five game losing streak and they will need to turn it around quickly. If either team can come out strong in this one though, it could be enough to help them earn a win on Thursday night.
The Flames and the Canucks met up three times last season. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists in the first meeting to lift Calgary to a 3-0 win. Tyler Myers and Tanner Pearson each had two goals and an assist in the second game to give Vancouver a 5-2 win. Dillon Dube had a goal and two assists for the Flames in the final meeting to give Calgary a 6-2 win.
The first meeting of this season’s series was on January 16 in Calgary. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, while Dillon Dube and Sean Monahan both recorded a goal. Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots, but it was not enough for the Canucks. Jacob Markstrom finished with a 32 shot shutout to help lead the Flames to a 3-0 win.
The second game of the season series was on January 18. Jake Virtanen and Tyler Myers each had a goal for Vancouver, but once again the Canucks came up short. Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist and Sean Monahan had two assists. Jacob Markstrom turned away 25 of 27 shots to help give Calgary another 5-2 win at home.
The Canucks have struggled against Calgary over this season and last. Vancouver went 1-2 against the Flames last season and have lost the first two games of this season’s series. The Canucks have struggled heavily entering this one and will look to finally turn it around against Calgary. Jacob Markstrom has had Vancouver’s number early in this season, which the Canucks will look to turn around.
Calgary has been solid on the special teams throughout this season. The Flames have scored on 12 of their 49 power play opportunities, which is a 24.5 percent power play. Calgary has also killed off 33 of the 42 penalties against, which is a 78.6 percent kill rate. The Flames could improve on the penalty kill a bit, but will look to keep the power play going.
The Canucks power play has not been great, but have been solid on the penalty kill so far. Vancouver has capitalized on 10 of their 57 power play chances, which is a 17.5 percent success rate. The Canucks have given up 13 goals on their opponents 67 power play attempts, which is an 80.6 percent penalty kill. Vancouver will look to improve on the power play.
The Flames have had the better power play entering this matchup, but Vancouver’s penalty kill can shut them down if they play well. The Canucks have had an issue with staying out of the box and they will need to clean up their play a bit in this one. If Vancouver gives Calgary too many power play chances, kt could give the Flames a big edge in this one.
I expect Jacob Markstrom to get the start in the crease for the Flames in this one. Markstrom has earned a record of 6-3-1 through his 10 starts this season. He has posted a .916 save percentage and a GAA of 2.50 through his starts. Markstrom’s last start was against the Winnipeg Jets, where he stopped 25 of 27 shots in route to a win.
Braden Holtby will likely get the nod between the pipes for Vancouver on Thursday night. Holtby has started in 8 games this season, going 3-5. He has put up a save percentage of .885 and a 3.75 GAA in those games played. Holtby finished with 16 saves on 19 shots in his last start against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was not enough for a win.
Markstrom has had the better start throughout this season, but Holtby still has plenty of time to turn it around. Holtby has had an extra day off after playing on Monday night and will look to come out much stronger in this one. Markstrom has won four of his last five starts and he will look to keep that trend going in this one.
The Flames are coming off back to back wins into this one, while Vancouver has lost five in a row. I think that this trend will change on Thursday night though. The Canucks are a better team than they have been playing as and I think that they can take over on Thursday night. Vancouver’s penalty kill can slow down the Flames power play, which could give them the necessary edge in this one.
BetOnline has Calgary listed as a -145 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Flames will win this game around 59.2 percent of the time. I think that this line should be a bit closer to even with Vancouver at home. The Canucks are not going to keep this losing streak going forever and I like their chances to win one in this one on Thursday night.