CALGARY, AB – Though they’ve dropped their opening two games to start the season, the Vancouver Canucks remain the reigning President’s Trophy winners and pose a significant threat to all Western Conference foes.
And they’re likely grumpy.
The Canucks were dealt a home opening 7-3 setback at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks Saturday and lost in a shootout to the Edmonton Oilers Sunday. With three days to stew over missed opportunities, the Calgary Flames can expect to face the best of what the Canucks have to offer Wednesday.
Historically, the Flames have fared well against the Canucks, posting a 122-81-33-9 record all-time against Vancouver. Calgary also won the season-series last year, taking seven of a possible 12 points against the league’s top team last season – a recipe they’ll need to duplicate to build momentum in the young season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
With just 67 points a year ago, Sedin produced at his lowest level since the 2003-04 season. Using that as motivation, it’s expected the younger Sedin (by six minutes) will return to his elite level – a necessity for a Canucks team missing two-thirds of their second line to start the season in David Booth and Ryan Kesler.
Anointed the starting goaltender for Vancouver to start the season, the weight of the Canucks could fall square on Schneider’s shoulders. Though he has a safety net in Roberto Luongo, the condensed season is Schneider’s opportunity to prove he can be a top goaltender in the league.
After inking a six-year, $30 million contract Friday, Edler will have big expectations. Set to become Vancouver’s highest paid defenceman after his current deal expires at the end of the year, the Swedish blueliner will look to carry and build on the momentum of a 49-point season last year.
BY THE NUMBERS
Calgary’s Record All-Time: 122-81-33-9
Calgary’s Record Head-To-Head Last Year: 3-2-1
Record Last Season: 51-22-9 (1st in Conference)
Who’s In: Cam Barker, Guillaume Desbiens, Jason Garrison, Derek Joslin, Patrick Mullen
Who’s Out: Marc-Andre Gragnani, Mark Mancari, Samuel Pahlsson, Aaron Rome, Sami Salo
Top Scorers vs. Flames: Alex Edler – 1G 5A 6P
Flames Top Scorers: Mike Cammalleri – 4G 1A 5P
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