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Calgary Flames

Preview: Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks 12/14/17 (32/82): A Strong PK Meets A Weak PP.

The Flames struggling power play won’t catch any breaks against the NHL’s 2nd best PK.



Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

The Flames return home for another big time Western Conference battle as the San Jose Sharks pay a visit to Cow Town. The Flames and Sharks could not be more alike: 16 wins, 35 points and both lost to the Wild after regulation. The Flames are 1 spot behind the Sharks in the Pacific Division, but 3 spots behind them in the Western Conference.

The Flames have had an odd go of it lately, dropping 4 of their last 6, but they’ve only surrendered 7 goals in their last 4 games, 2 of which were wins and 2 that went to OT or a SO. The Flames main struggles have come on the power play. The Flames are 2 for their last 25, including a brutal 1-6 in a 7-5 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Calgary all but manhandled the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, yet they were 0-3 on the PP and that partially sunk their chances in a game they should have won easily.

As bad as the Flames PP is, the Sharks PK is that good. San Jose is #2 overall in the NHL, allowing only 13 goals in 97 man down chances. Where San Jose has struggled is putting pucks in the net. The Sharks have only 78 tallies on the season, yet they have 16 wins and hold the 7th spot in the West. How is this possible? Well, they’ve only allowed 68 goals on the season, making them the toughest team to score on in the league.

The Flames are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games at home against the Sharks, so this isn’t a cake walk by any stretch of the imagination. The Sharks special teams match up well against the Flames and that could neutralize any advantage the Flames might have. Also, if you’re “lucky” enough to get the Sharks backup in net, you get Aaron Dell. He’s allowed 2 goals in his last 3 starts. You might be hoping for Martin Jones as he’s been shelled to the tune of 17 goals in his last 4 starts, winning only once.

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 Minnesota Wild 2 (SO)

How the Flames could lose this game seems preposterous. Calgary seemed to be cruising early to certain victory over a Wild team that looked like they forgot there was a game to be played. Minnesota got a lucky break late in the first and that gave them a little life and the Flames couldn’t capitalize on all the good they had accrued. Regulation settled nothing and Mikael Granlund scored in the 5th round of the shoot out to get the Wild the win. Here’s our recap and the highlights from

San Jose Sharks 3 Minnesota Wild 4 (OT)

The Wild either love playing teams from the Pacific or they hate it. Prior to beating the Flames in a shoot out the Wild took down the Sharks in OT 4-3. Brent Burns and his 2 goals lead the San Jose out of a 3 goal deficit, but they could only get 1 of a possible two points in this Western Conference showdown. Fear The Fin has the recap and provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Sean Monahan (C). The Flames dynamic centre has 4 points in his last 6 games, but where he’s really excelled this season is when the game is on the line. Monahan has 2 OT winners and 6 GWG total on the young season. He’s found some success against SJ with 4 goals in their last 10 meetings.

San Jose Sharks

Brent Burns (D). There’s no hotter Shark than the bearded one. San Jose has played 6 games in the month of December and Burns has 7 points, including a 2 goal effort against the Wild. Scoring defenceman are the norm these days, but Burns takes it to another level. In his last 2 games he has 16 SOG and the scary part about Burns is that it doesn’t seem to matter where he’s playing. Of his 18 points, 8 of them have come on the road.

by Mark Parkinson