Canucks vs. Flames – Redux or revenge?

Vancouver (1-0-0) vs. Calgary (0-1-0)

After outplaying the Flames in basically every facet of the game in the season opener at GM Place on Wednesday night, one expects that ‘Iron’ Mike Keenan will, if nothing else, have his team prepared to put up more of a fight tonight in Calgary’s home opener at the Library the Saddledome.

On our side of things, I don’t expect coach Alain Vigneault to tinker with the line-up tonight. Newly acquired defenceman Shane O’Brien looked solid in his debut, so I don’t expect Rob Davison to draw in. Both Rick Rypien (1 goal, plus-1) and Ryan Johnson (1 assist, plus-2) played well on the fourth line, so it is unlikely that centre Kyle Wellwood will see action tonight. That said, the one glaring weak spot for the Canucks on Wednesday was a dismal one-for-nine on the power play, so it is possible that AV might try to work PP-specialist Wellwood into the line-up somehow.

On the Flames side, a good start might be to bench the painfully past-due Penaltuzzi. Failing that, the Flames will need to shore up the back end (the return of defenceman Robyn Regher should help) and find a way to generate traffic in the offensive zone to disrupt Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks showed enough and the Flames precious little enough on Wednesday for me to comfortably predict a victory for the visitors tonight. 3-1 ‘Nucks, with Demitra, Daniel and Raymond scoring for us, and Iginla potting one for the Flames.

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