Captain Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks is still looking for his first goal of the season.
Photograph by: Harry How, Getty Images
VANCOUVER — Setting up Saturday’s Calgary Flames-Vancouver Canucks battle at Rogers Arena:
• THREE THEMES
WHO’S IN GOAL? The Canucks had the day off Friday, so if coach Alain Vigneault has flipped that goaltending coin, we don’t yet know which way it came up. But the betting is Cory Schneider will get his second straight start.
Schneider was solid in Vancouver’s 4-1 win Thursday in Minnesota. Just over two weeks ago, he earned his first win of the season against the Flames when he stopped 34 of 36 shots and four of five Calgary shooters in the shootout.
NOT SO SPECIAL: Yes, the Canucks are off to their best start in several seasons, but their special teams have been anything but. Vancouver’s power play has converted only 15.7 per cent of its chances and stands 22nd in the NHL. The Canucks’ penalty kill stands 20th, with an efficiency rate of 15.7 per cent and figures to be tested by a Calgary power play that is tied for sixth. The Flames’ penalty-kill has struggled and stands 28th.
HEATING UP: After an awful start, the Flames have recently been showing some signs of life. They have won two straight on the road and have played fewer games — eight — than any other NHL team. Alex Tanguay, Lee Stempniak and Curtis Glencross have four goals apiece. Mike Cammalleri, who missed Thursday’s game in Columbus with an undisclosed injury, has not yet scored.
• PLAYERS TO WATCH
HENRIK SEDIN, Canucks: Ten games into the season, the Canucks captain is still looking for his first goal. Shooting more often wouldn’t hurt. Henrik, who has just one goal in his last 33 regular-season games, has just 11 shots on goal this season. He and Daniel have combined for only 14 points in Vancouver’s first 10 games.
LELAND IRVING, Flames: Irving spent most of the lockout stuck behind Danny Taylor and Barry Brust with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat. Now, with Miikka Kiprusoff out with a lower-body injury, he’s suddenly starting for the Flames. Irving, Calgary’s first-round pick (26th overall) in 2006, got a win Thursday, when the Flames beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime in Columbus. Taylor has been called up from Abbotsford and is backing up Irving.
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