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Game #3 – Vancouver Canucks (1-2) @ Calgary Flames (1-0-1) – game recap

After splitting the first two games of the season in Edmonton, the Canucks moved south to Calgary to take on former teammates Jacob Markstrom, Josh Leivo and Chris Tanev. Canucks fans were circling tonight’s game on the schedule after learning this game would occur so early in the season. In terms of placement in the standings, this game isn’t as crucial as a meeting later in the season. There’s no question, the Canucks will be on their game as they look to beat their former friends. The Flames won the season series 2-1 (the 4th game was cancelled due to the pandemic)  with the Flames outscoring the Canucks 11-7.  Brock Boeser played his 200th career game tonight. Same lineup as the first two games, except Brayden Holtby was back in net after Demko got the start in the second game against Edmonton. Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Flames opened the scoring eight and a half minutes into the game as Sean Monahan snapped a centering feed past Canucks goalie Brayden Holtby for a PP marker
  • The Flames added a goal just over 16 minutes into the 2nd period as Dillon Dube cracked a one-timer past a screened Holtby for a PP marker
  • The Flames added a goal just over 15 minutes into the 3rd period as Matthew Tkachuk stuffed his own rebound past Holtby
  • Brayden Holtby stopped 32/35 shots
  • Final score: Flames 3 Canucks 0

My Take:

  • Certainly not the statement game the Canucks wanted to make. Former Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom was lights out, shutting out his former team with a 32 save effort. The Canucks, again were beaten in virtually every statistical category, except faceoff wins. Penalties were another factor with Tyler Motte receiving another two minor penalties. Other penalties called tonight were due to poor positioning and not skating. It’s now very likely Loui Eriksson will make his season debut on Monday with Zack MacEwen or Jake Virtanen likely to take a seat in the press box. Either way, the status quo with the lineup is not working.
  • Brayden Holtby did his part to keep the score close with some big stops in a 32 save effort. Unfortunately, he got zero support offensively and the Canucks only blocked 11 shots. Chris Tanev had 8 blocked shots, nearly matching the Canucks output for the night.
  • The power play failed miserably tonight, failing to capitalize on a lengthy 2-man advantage. The Canucks also saw Tyler Motte take them off the PP with a penalty.
  • The PK also struggled again tonight, allowing all three Flames goals. Even worse, the Canucks PK allowed 12 shots tonight
  • Here’s something else to consider: how will the Canucks fare if this is how they play “tired”. The condensed schedule will have them playing back to back 7 times and 3 in 4, 4 in 6. The Canucks need to find the energy when tired because a lot of teams will be feeling the same way
  • In his 200th game, Brock Boeser had a quiet night statistically with 4 shots on goal and a 2-minute minor.
  • The Canucks won 60% of the draws, led by Bo Horvat, who won 71% of the draws he took tonight. Jay Beagle (64% success rate), Brandon Sutter (60% success rate) and Adam Gaudette (50% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle.
  • The Canucks banged out 11 hits, led by Beagle, who had three hits
  • The Canucks blocked 11 shots, led by Tyler Motte and Travis Hamonic, who both blocked a pair of shots
  • Up next, the Canucks wrap up the road trip and will be looking to exact some revenge after a poor showing tonight. There’s a good chance of lineup changes coming.
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