Game Preview: Flames vs San Jose Sharks

CALGARY FLAMES (23-20-6 52 points) vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS (26-14-6 58 points) GAME #50

 

PREVIEW:

It was a good road trip for the Flames as they managed 5 of 6 possible points, including another dominating, 6-2 victory over the Oilers on Saturday night. The Flames will look to get back on their winning ways at home as they host the San Jose Sharks tonight at the Dome. The Sharks sit third in the Western Conference but are currently on a 3-game losing skid being outscored 10-6 during the span. The Sharks also come into town playing on back-to-back, losing in a SO last night in Edmonton.

The bigger story in my mind that came from the Flames 6-2 win over the Oilers was the break out performances of Lee Stempniak (3 goals, 1 assist) and Blake Comeau (1 goal, 2 assists). The Flames scoring struggles have been well documented and even more so their lack of secondary scoring. With Stempniak and Comeau both putting up some points against Edmonton, their confidence should be on the rise, which is the most important thing when scoring goals.

The Flames secondary scoring will continue to get help tonight, as Alex Tanguay will return to the line-up after missing 15 games with a neck injury. Tanguay will start on a line with Blair Jones and Tom Kostopoulos and should see time on the PP.

The Sharks have had the Flames number recently, winning the last 4 meetings including a 2-1 overtime victory last Tuesday in San Jose. The Sharks are once again led by the likes of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau but Logan Couture continues to improve from his rookie campaign, leading the Sharks with 21 goals and 3 goals in his last two games. Brent Burns was injured in last night’s game against the Oilers after colliding knee-on-knee with Ales Hemsky and will sit out tonight for precaution as the All-Star break is just around the corner.

I thought the Flames played a very good game last Tuesday against the Sharks despite the 2-1 OT loss. I thought they skated good, competed hard and matched up well against the Sharks. Taking advantage of the Sharks recent struggles and them coming in on back-to-back has to be the Flames focus. As I mentioned secondary scoring is important for the Flames to be successful and now that they seem have some, the Flames need to focus on getting complete and consistent efforts from all 4 lines night in and night out. Miikka Kiprusoff will once again get the start in between the pipes as the Flames look for their 3rd win in a row. The Flames still sit 2 points back of the 8th place Colorado Avalanche but do have a game in hand.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                                  Sharks:

1-CAMMALLERI-BACKLUND-IGINLA                                      1-DESJARDINS-THORNTON-PAVELSKI

2-COMEAU-JOKINEN-STEMPNIAK                                         2-MARLEAU-COUTURE-FERRIERO

3-TANGUAY-JONES-KOSTOPOULOS                                    3-McGINN-HANDZUS-MITCHELL

4-MORRISON-HORAK-JACKMAN                                           4-WINCHESTER-MURRAY-McCARTHY

 

1-BOUWMEESTER-BUTLER                                                  1-VLASIC-BOYLE

2-GIORDANO-HANNAN                                                          2-MURRAY-DEMERS

3-BRODIE-SARICH                                                                 3-WHITE-BRAUN

 

1-KIPRUSOFF                                                                         1-NIEMI

2-IRVING                                                                                 2-GREISS

 

EXTRA- STAJAN, BOUMA                                                       EXTRA- VANDERMEER, NIITTYMAKI

 

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Curtis Glencross (Knee- IR), C- David Moss (Lower Body-IR), D- Derek Smith (Ankle-IR), G- Henrik Karlsson (Knee-IR)

Sharks: D- Brent Burns (Knee- day-to-day), LW- Ryane Clowe (Facial- IR), RW- Martin Havlat (Lower Body- IR), LW- Tommy Wingels (Upper Body- IR), LW- James Shepard (Knee- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

J. Iginla

49

18

21

39

-5

O. Jokinen

49

12

26

38

-1

C. Glencross

45

18

15

33

-4

L. Stempniak

49

12

12

24

-1

M. Cammalleri

42

10

13

23

-9

 

Sharks

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

J. Thornton

46

8

30

38

13

P. Marleau

46

17

19

36

10

L. Couture

46

21

14

35

8

J. Pavelski

46

17

17

34

13

D. Boyle

46

4

24

28

11

 

PP-

Flames: 17.5% (19th)

Sharks: 17.8% (17th)

PK-

Flames: 82.8% (13th)

Sharks: 78.2% (27th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

WINS

LOSSES

OTL

POINTS

1. DETROIT

49

33

15

1

67

2. VANCOUVER

48

29

15

4

62

3. SAN JOSE

46

26

14

6

58

4. ST. LOUIS

48

29

13

6

64

5. CHICAGO

49

29

14

6

64

6. NASHVILLE

49

29

16

4

62

7. L.A

50

24

16

10

58

8. COLORADO

50

26

22

2

54

 

9. MINNESOTA

48

23

18

7

53

10. CALGARY

49

23

20

6

52

11. DALLAS

47

24

21

2

50

12. PHOENIX

49

21

20

8

50

13. ANAHEIM

47

18

22

7

43

14.EDMONTON

48

18

26

4

40

15. COLUMBUS

48

13

29

6

32

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Last ten games: Flames- 5-4-1, Sharks- 5-3-2
  • This is the Flames last game before the All-Star break. They get a full week off before hosting the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 31.
  • The Flames, who have been brilliant at the Dome (13-6-2), will play 20 of their final 33 games on home ice.
  • Kiprusoff is 3 games away from becoming the Flames all-time franchise leader in games played by a goaltender and is two wins away from 300.
  • Couture recorded his 100th career point last night, scoring the tying goal for the Sharks.
  • Even though the Sharks fell in Edmonton, 2-1 in a SO last night they dominated the Oilers in shots, outshooting them 45-18.
  • Ryane Clowe will miss his 5th consecutive game due to a facial injury sustained Jan. 10 versus the Wild
  • The Sharks are on their longest losing streak of the season and longest since a 6-game slid, Jan 3-13, 2011.

 

GAME DAY QUOTE:

"We know how important the points are the rest of the way in and we want to play consistently hard hockey. We played well on this road trip, and if we can continue to do that and play as well as we have at home, I think we are going to set ourselves up nicely. Everyone is keeping their eyes on the standings right now. There aren't going to be any easy games from here on out." - Blake Comeau