The second stop on this Vancouver Canucks road trip is the Saddledome. While the Oilers bowed down to the might of Elias Pettersson, the Canucks are in for a tougher test against the best in the Pacfic Division.
After putting a top five player in his place, Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks look to claim a second victory in Alberta. The road trip makes its way to the Saddledome for a Hockey Night in Canada showdown with the Flames.
Vancouver sets its sights on a surging squad, led by Johnny Gaudreau. Top five jokes aside, Gaudreau is sixth in league scoring with 51 points in 38 games. Dustin Byfuglien tried to break Gaudreau’s hand with a vicious slash a couple of days ago, but he appears to be fine.
The Canucks had their perfect penalty killing streak come to an end, but will look to return to form. Despite the perfect streak, the Canucks’ penalty kill is still ranked 20th in the NHL (77.9%). Considering Calgary is ranked 12th with the man advantage, it would be best to stay out of the box.
Now, will Vancouver score four times on six shots again? Probably not. David Rittich gets the start for Calgary. He’s been the better goalie for Calgary this season and if the Canucks do start Jacob Markstrom, we could see an interesting goaltending duel.
Both teams have a lot of offensive firepower, so an exciting back and forth could be in order. The Flames’ offence is ranked third in the NHL, scoring 131 goals. Vancouver isn’t too far behind with 120 goals for (ranked 11th). Calgary has been good defensively, so a win won’t come as easily as it does with the Oilers.
Finally, I just wanted to end with some news from the morning skate. Per Jeff Paterson, the Canucks may be making a roster decision soon. Sven Baertschi is skating on the ice. It will depend on how he feels if he plays tonight.
If the Canucks are going to activate him off the IR, someone needs to move. Adam Gaudette was out there too, but I were Jim Benning, I would waive Tim Schaller. We’ll see if any roster changes are made later today.
Troy Stecher is likely still a game-time decision, recovering from the concussion he received on that dirty head shot against Tampa Bay. And Brandon Sutter is on the road trip and will return soon. Although, no timeline on his return. Another roster move will be order then. The Canucks play the Flames at 7 pm PST on CBC.