After almost 5 months of investigation, the Vancouver Police have finally recommended that more than 160 charges be laid for the June Stanley Cup Riots in Vancouver. As such, it is fitting that the Canucks-Flames rivalry will heat up again tonight. Don’t expect any burning police cars in Calgary, but you should expect to see some other types of flames: the ones on the Enmax Energy Board whenever Calgary puts one into Vancouver’s net.
The Canucks (5-5-1) have been marginally better than the Flames (4-4-1) to start the season thanks to a lack of offence and a major goaltending controversy. Both teams will be playing for an important 2 points, but the Flames will be also be looking to leap-frog over the Canucks and Minnesota Wild in the Northwest Division standings. A win would put the Flames in 3rd spot and relegate the Canucks to last place in the division. Any Flames fan will agree that that will be a sweet thing to see.
I fully expect to see Roberto Luongo in net for the Canucks, despite their well-published goaltending woes. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault has vehemently defended his starting goalie after his lackluster start (3.54 GAA and .869 save percentage) and will surely put him in net for this big divisional game.
The Canucks have had a hard time scoring until their 7-goal outburst against the Washington Capitals the other night. The Sedins have been consistent and have tallied 4 goals and 9 assists each in their first 11 games.
The hottest Flames player recently has been Roman Horak, who has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 2 games. His youthful spark has come at the right times for Calgary, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to a much more experienced team like Vancouver. I’m going to be looking for other Flames players, like Curtis Glencross, Rene Bourque an Jarome Iginla to provide some veteran leadership on the scoreboard.
Puck drop is at 7:30 and frequent redmileblog.com commenter Olde Buffalo will be in attendance. If you see him, make sure to buy him a rum & coke and/or a twist cone in the 2nd intermission.