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Game #2 – Vancouver Canucks (0-2) @ Calgary Flames (1-1) – game recap.

After a tough opening night loss to the Oilers, the Canucks concluded an early season swing through Alberta with a tilt against the Calgary Flames. Loui Eriksson was scratched after not making an effort on the game-winning goal in Edmonton in favor of Adam Gaudette. The rest of the lineup remained the same as opening night as Travis Green rewarded his team for a fairly solid opening night. Jacob Markstrom got his second straight start in net and is expected to play all four games the first week with a light schedule. Thatcher Demko should get a start in week three when the Canucks play 4 games in 6 nights, with three of the games being on the road. This was also the final game the Canucks will be without a captain. The team will name their 14th captain on opening night at Roger’s Arena on Wednesday (spoiler alert: it’s going to be Bo Horvat). Could the Canucks finish the road trip at .500? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Flames opened the scoring 13:50 into the game on a horrible giveaway by Tyler Myers right onto the stick of Elias Lindholm who snapped the puck home under the arm of Jacob Markstrom
  • The Flames added a goal just over a minute into the 2nd period as Sean Monahan whacked a centering feed past Markstrom. He was left wide open on the play
  • The Flames added a goal with exactly a minute and one second left as Johnny Gaudreau stuffed the puck into the yawning cage
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 27/29 shots
  • Final score: Flames 3 Canucks 0

My Take:

  • This was easily the poorer of the two efforts. The Canucks had strong shifts in the beginning of the 1st and 2nd but could not solve Flames goalie David Rittich, who turned aside all 34 Canucks shots, including all 11 on the PP and two short-handed chances
  • The Canucks were given plenty of chances on the PP with the Flames taking 6 penalties. One could have been called on the second Flames goal with Bo Horvat getting hit in the face. The PP looked like it was looking for the perfect shot and was far too stationary. Also, the Canucks have to take that stupid drop pass off their PP playbook because it’s not working
  • I get that the Canucks are still trying to gel as a team, but holy cow was there ever miscommunication tonight! In the first period, Tyler Myers had a horrible giveaway trying to throw the puck to his defensive partner. A few minutes later, Marky had to scramble back to save a sure goal. On the second Flames goal, nobody covered Sean Monahan and there were 4 Canucks in the area. Also, there were two too-many-men penalties, that were both served by Virtanen.
  • The only good thing the Canucks did was kill all 4 Flames PP.
  • The Canucks won 53% of the faceoffs, led by Josh Leivo, who won every draw he took. Jay Beagle (80% success rate), Bo Horvat (58% success rate), Brandon Sutter (56% success rate), and JT Miller (50% success rate) all had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks had 7 hits. Josh Leivo, Virtanen, Beagle, Alex Edler, Quinn Hughes, Michael Ferland and Adam Gaudette all had 1 hit tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 6 shots, led by Tyler Myers who had 6 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks return home to open the home portion of the schedule against ex-Canuck Ben Hutton and the LA Kings. Horvat is expected to be named the Canucks 14th captain in  a pregame ceremony. Expect Jacob Markstrom to get the start.
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