Connect with us

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks game preview: Back to the seriously-must-wins

Because a loss to the Penguins, while not ideal, is okay. A loss to the Sharks is significantly not ideal and very much not okay. They're kind of direct competition, and all.



It’s the annual fathers trip, so it’s time to make some fathers especially proud. The Calgary Flames have already played the San Jose Sharks four times this season. They have already won the season series, collecting six of a possible eight points against those finned bastards with a 3-1-0 record. The Sharks? Just three points, courtesy of regression striking the Flames and causing a very sad eight-game losing streak, plus that time Sean Monahan took all of 24 seconds to stab them directly in the heart with an overtime winner, I love you Sean. Tonight is the very last time the Flames and Sharks will play this season. Unless they meet in the playoffs. Which would be cool as heck. IT’S GO TIME.

… No, seriously, it’s go time. Because last game, the Flames faced the Pittsburgh Penguins, where they very much did not go at all. In fact, they kind of just hanged out and only showed up on the powerplay, as their three-game win streak was snapped and they were shutout for the second time all season (and second time in five games). Jonas Hiller got no help whatsoever as the Pens cruised their way to a 4-0 victory. | Recap | Stats | Boxscore | I don’t like getting shut out, it’s very sad:

And the Sharks? Well, the Sharks are currently ahead of the Flames. By two points. And the Flames have a game in hand. So basically, win this one, and the Flames get to leap right back above them. And not all is quite right in Sharks land: first off, sharks shouldn’t be on land. Second off, after the Flames defeated them 3-1, the Sharks may have demolished the Vancouver Canucks 5-1, but then they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes. 5-4. They were going to lose 5-3, but 15 seconds after the Canes scored the empty netter to put the game away, Patrick Marleau gave the lot of them false hope by drawing them back within one. With 55 seconds to go. So the empty net goal was the game winner. Which probably made them sad, which is awesome.

Third off: the Sharks placed Marc-Edouard Vlasic on IR. Vlasic, their return for one Miikka Kiprusoff, is their best defenceman. This is bad news for them. And great news for us.

For more on the enemy, be sure to head over to our lovely friends at Fear The Fin, who are all nice and smart people who will hopefully be watching a loss tonight and not even get a John Scott goal to cheer them up. (Unless that means John Scott doesn’t play… because he should… because reasons. Mostly him being not super great at hockey.)

Game time: 8:30 p.m. MT UGH we're back in California but for the last time this season!

Channel: SNW

All-time record: The Flames keep piling it on, what with their winning this season's series and all: 65-49-8-4. The goal differential is a +33 in the Flames' favour. That's awesome. Let's make it at least a +34. You know, for Kipper.

Common threads: I am going to talk about Miikka Kiprusoff until the end of time because he is my favourite player of all time. He only played for two teams in the NHL: San Jose and Calgary. Coincidentally, tonight's teams! Wow. Anyway, he was real good with us, and that was great.

Also, Johnny Gaudreau and Barclay Goodrow’s last names are pronounced exactly the same, and sometimes it’s really confusing, and I don’t like it. The less awesome one should have to change it. He’s not going to.

Approaching milestones: Deryk Engelland is just 10 games away from 300 NHL games played. That’s… nice. TJ Brodie is just 10 points away from 100 points, which is cool! Also, his next point will be a career high, which will be neat as heck!

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames San Jose Sharks
Record: 29-21-3: 61 points Record: 28-19-7: 63 points
Pacific Division: 4th Pacific Division: 2nd
Western Conference: 8th Western Conference: 6th
Goal Differential: +16 Goal Differential: +4
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (25:09 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:22 per game)
Defence: Brent Burns (24:12 per game)
Forward: Joe Pavelski (20:00 per game)
Goals: Sean Monahan (17)
Assists: Mark Giordano (32)
Points: Mark Giordano (43)
Goals: Joe Pavelski (28)
Assists: Joe Thornton (34)
Points: Joe Pavelski (47)
Shots on goal: Mark Giordano (134)
Shooting percentage: Josh Jooris (16.9%)
Shots on goal: Joe Pavelski (174)
Shooting percentage: Melker Karlsson (21.4%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (50.1%, 1174 taken) Joe Thornton (58.8%, 643 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (47)
Hits: Lance Bouma (174)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (164)
Penalty minutes: Andrew Desjardins (150)
Hits: Tommy Wingels (174)
Blocked shots: Justin Braun (86)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team’s games played)
Corsi for%: Jiri Hudler (49.3%, 50 GP)
Mark Giordano (49.2%, 53 GP)
Fenwick for%: Jiri Hudler (50.1%, 50 GP)
Josh Jooris (50.1%, 38 GP)
Corsi for%: Joe Thornton (58.1%, 50 GP)
Matt Nieto (56.1%, 44 GP)
Fenwick for%: Joe Thornton (57.9%, 50 GP)
Matt Nieto (56.0%, 44 GP)

Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund David Jones
Paul Byron Josh Jooris Joe Colborne
Curtis Glencross Matt Stajan Mason Raymond
Left Defense Right Defense
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz Deryk Engelland
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

San Jose Sharks
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Melker Karlsson Joe Thornton Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau Logan Couture Matt Nieto
Tomas Hertl James Sheppard Barclay Goodrow
Andrew Desjardins Chris Tierney Daniil Tarasov
Left Defense Right Defense
Scott Hannan Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon Matt Tennyson
Matt Irwin Mirco Mueller
Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Do you see that? That's the sweet, sweet sight of Brandon Bollig not present in the lineup. That's the sweet, sweet sight of not being able to tell which line is the fourth line by determining who he's playing with. That's the sweet, sweet sight of having 12 functional forwards who can all play more than 10 minutes in a single game. That's the sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet sight of a well-balanced lineup and four rollable lines. I love it. It's so… nice-looking. Can we keep it? Please?

by Ari Yanover