Game 82: Canucks vs. Flames (4.13.14)
Before the puck drops for tonight's tilts, fans in attendance will have the opportunity to reminisce about some of the best moments in Canucks' history as part of the Pat Quinn Ring of Honour ceremony. The reminiscing will continue once puck drops but it will focused on a season that started with so much promise but will come to a dispiriting end win or lose tonight as the Canucks take to the ice for the final time this season. Vancouver, who dropped a 5-2 decision last night in Edmonton to suffer their third consecutive loss, will be looking to leave their fans on a high note with a season-ending win. They have lost two in a row at Rogers Arena and four of their last five in front of their faithful overall.
The Flames are also putting the wraps on yet another failed campaign as they will miss the post-season for the fifth consecutive season. Calgary, ironically, had actually been playing some of their best hockey over the last couple of weeks winning four in a row before having that streak snapped on Friday in their home finale with a 5-3 loss to the Jets. The Flames, who bring a three-game road win streak into tonight's tilt, are looking to avoid being swept in the season series by the Canucks. Vancouver has won all four head-to-head meetings, most recently earning a 2-1 victory back on March 8 at Rogers Arena, although all four games have been close with just one contest decided by more than a single goal.
Puck drop at 6 pm PT, Pat Quinn Ring of Honour Ceremony at 5:45 pm PT - Live on Sportsnet Pacific, The TEAM 1040, or online at teamradio.ca.
Keys to the Game
Torts plays his trump card. If John Tortorella wants to show that the players still respond to him and are willing to play for him, he'll need to do it tonight by firing up his troops to fight for a win under the watchful gaze of new president, Trevor Linden, as well as one of the most influential figures in Vancouver hockey, Pat Quinn.
Play for bragging rights. Admittedly there isn't a lot for the Canucks to brag about this off-season, but sweeping the season series against the Flames would be a nice feather in the cap. Vancouver has never swept the Flames in a season series in franchise history.
The BC boys go big. It's not often a player will jump from collegiate hockey to the NHL in a span of a couple of days but that's exactly what will be the case for former Boston College stars Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold tonight. Even if none of the regulars are fired up for a mean-nothing game, you can bet these two will be.
By the Numbers
All-time win percentage for the Canucks in regular season finales (22-14-6).
Boston College teammates expected to debut for Calgary: Johnny Gaudreau (2014 Hobey Baker Award winner) and Bill Arnold.
Different goaltenders used by the Flames in the season series (MacDonald, Berra, Ramo, Ortio).
Straight wins for the Canucks against the Flames dating back to April 6, 2013.
Straight home wins for the Canucks against the Flames dating back to March 31, 2012.
Goals scored by the Canucks this season entering play tonight. They will finish with fewer than 200 goals in a full season for the first time since 1998.99.