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Game #40 – Vancouver Canucks (21-15-4) @ Calgary Flames (20-16-5) – game recap

The Canucks wrapped up play for the 2019 calendar year with a tilt with division rivals Calgary Flames. There were numerous events that took place in 2019 that will shape the future and present of the team (Bo Horvat being named 14th captain in team history, the NHL debut of Quinn Hughes, trade for JT Miller, emergence of Thatcher Demko as the backup goalie, emergence of Adam Gaudette as a full-time player, signings of Tyler Myers, Michael Ferland,  Jordie Benn and Oscar Fantenberg; re-establishment of a potent power play, among others). The next decade promises to be exciting for the Canucks as they build towards being a force to be reckoned with in the West. Tonight, the Canucks were looking to close out the calendar year with their 5th straight win. A win tonight would give them a record of 37-32-10 for the 2019 calendar year over 77 games played. The Canucks will go with the same lineup as last night, except Thatcher Demko will make his first start since he suffered a concussion in practice three weeks ago. Could the Canucks end the 2019 calendar year with a win and make it five wins in a row? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Canucks opened the scoring three and a half minutes into the game as Tyler Myers beat Flames goalie David Rittich with a seeing-eye shot through a crowd for a PP marker
  • Just over three minutes later, Myers beat Rittich with another seeing-eye shot through a crowd, this time from the other side of the ice
  • Just over four minutes later, Jake Virtanen whipped a wrister home for a PP marker. Myers got an assist for his third point of the period/game
  • The Flames got one back with ninety-four seconds left in the 2nd period as Rasmus Andersson was johnny on the spot to collect a rebound and slide one by Thatcher Demko on the backhand
  • The Canucks added a goal just over 6 minutes into the 3rd period as Tanner Pearson wheeled and fired one over the glove of Cam Talbot
  • The Flames got one back on a weird one with Thatcher Demko all twisted around with his back to the play. Noah Hanifin wired it by Demko
  • Thirty-three seconds later, Pearson restored the three goal cushion with a nice diving effort and timing to knock a bouncing puck into the empty net
  • Thatcher Demko stopped 23/25 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 5 Flames 2

My Take:

  • Thatcher Demko had a solid game for his first start in three weeks making 23/25 saves. He got a bit lucky in the 1st period when a shot went through his wickets and into the corner. Demko made the saves he had to. His team was much better defensively, giving up less than half the shots they allowed. You could tell the team had a good talk after the game or on the flight to Calgary because they were a much different team tonight
  • Tanner Pearson and Tyler Myers both single-handedly defeated the Flames with three point efforts (both got a pair of goals and an assist)
  • Loui Eriksson apparently likes playing Alberta teams. He collected his third point of the season, getting an assist on Pearson’s 1st goal (he’s scored twice against Edmonton this season)
  • The Canucks won 68% of the draws, led by Tyler Motte, who won every draw he took. Bo Horvat (85% success rate), Jay Beagle (61% success rate) Adam Gaudette (60% success rate) and JT Miller (56% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks outhit the Flames 14-13, led by Tanner Pearson, who had 3 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 15 shots, led by Oscar Fantenberg, who blocked 6 shots
  • Up next, the Canucks return home for a brief 2-game homestand, beginning with a tilt against an injury-riddled Chicago Blackhawks team that lost both Calvin de Haan and Brent Seabrook to season-ending shoulder surgeries. Seabrook will likely miss the entire 2020-21 season as well with separate surgeries on both hips scheduled for 2020. The Canucks won two of the three meetings last season, taking 3 of a possible 6 points and outscoring the Blackhawks 10-8.
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