The Calgary Flames are looking to come home hotter than they left Las Vegas. To get a win against the stingy San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, they’ll need to find an answer for Adin Hill.
The Sharks netminder was a force at the Saddledome in their last meeting. He backstopped them to a 4-1 win in one of the Flames’ most frustrating games of the season.
Hill, who played minor hockey for the Calgary Buffaloes, was the backbone for a team that was ravaged by COVID-19 at the time, making 37 saves.
Things haven’t gone quite the way Hill imagined since then. The Sharks traded a second-round pick for him back in July. Although he was expected to be the starter, Hill has been supplanted by journeyman James Reimer.
But Reimer is “run down and not 100 per cent,” Sharks head coach Bob Boughner told San Jose Hockey Now, so it’s Hill’s net again for now.
Tuesday’s game is Hill’s fourth straight start.
“I’ve had the opportunity all year,” Hill said. “They’ve given me plenty of starts and nothing changes day by day. I am focused on getting the win tonight.”
Mangiapane only Flames player to beat Hill in last meeting
Andrew Mangiapane scored his one and only goal on home ice this season in that game against Hill. It was a gritty, second-effort mucker that needed to be reviewed twice to confirm. The sniper also scored late against the Golden Knights on Sunday to net his league-leading 16th on the road.
Perhaps those two elements combine against the Sharks.
“It feels like we’ve been on the road the whole season,” Calgary Flames winger Milan Lucic, who had the assist on the Mangiapane goal in Calgary, said Tuesday.
“It’s not going to be easy here tonight against a good San Jose team that we lost to earlier this year.”
Early reports suggested backup Dan Vladar would get the start for the Flames.
Appears that #Flames G Daniel Vladar gets the starting nod tonight in San Jose.
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) December 7, 2021