Will the Sharks Put a Playoff Death Bite on the Flames?

Game Preview #76

 

Do or Die. This is it. A loss here will certainly seal the Flames fate. If the Flames lose they will be very firmly in the realm of needing not just one but two teams ahead of them, and with games in hand, to blow tires at this point.

 

The Flames are hanging on by one fingernail at this point. They must take two points from the Sharks to keep even remote playoff hopes alive.  The Flames have firmly entered the realm of needing to win out and we all know how often that happens.

 

The Sharks for all intents and purposes are in but they have been so hot lately I don’t expect them to take a night off. This is the season for the Flames tonight without a doubt.

Continued after the jump...

The Stat Rack

Flames

Rank

 

Rank

Sharks

18.3%

12th

PP%

3rd

23.0%

81.6%

18th

PK%

23rd

80.5%

2.79

17th

GA

10th

2.56

2.92

6th

GF

10th  

2.82

48.1%

24th

FO%

2nd   

53.9%

 

Number Crunch

By the numbers the Sharks have the edge notwithstanding their rather atrocious PK, which stands out like a sour thumb among the other top ten rankings.

The Flames once again will be looking for their offense to carry the day and must not take penalties. The Flames weak Faceoff % can potentially haunt them in this one especially given the strong Sharks Faceoff %. 

 

Alive in the Last Five

Flames

Jarome Iginla – 3G 2A -1 in his last 5GP

Rene Bourque – 2G 3A (even) in his last 4GP

 

Sharks

Joe Pavelski – 3G 8A +3 in his last 4GP

Patrick Marleau - 2G 5A  -1 in his last 4GP

Joe Thornton – 3G 2A +1 in his last 4GP

Dan Boyle – 0g 6A +1 in his last 5GP

Torrey Mitchell – 2G 3A +5 in his last 5GP

 

Anticipated Roster (subject to change by game time)

 

The Flames

The Sharks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanguay

Backlund

Iginla

Marleau

Thornton

Setoguchi

Kostopoulos

Glencross

Bourque

Clowe

Couture

Heatley

Jackman

Jokinen

Kotalik

Mitchell

Pavelski

Wellwood

Bouma

Stajan

Nemisz

Eager

Desjardins

Mayers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regehr

Bouwmeester

 

Boyle

Murray

 

Giordano

Sarich

 

White

Demers

 

Staios

Babchuk

 

Vlasic

Braun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiprusoff

Karlsson

 

Niemi

Nittymaki

 

 

Anticipated Game Style

 

I expect a shoot-out in the Shark tank. The last one started to get very chippy and this one could go the same way. The Sharks are more or less a lock for the playoffs at this point, the Flames are all but mathematically out.

We should see the Flames put everything on the line because the only way to keep even a fingernail on the playoff hunt is to win this one.

 

One on One

Mikael Backlund vs Joe Thornton

 

It is time for Mikael to take off the training wheels. My early line-up shows him centering the first line and he very well may be lining up against Big Joe. Time to throw Mikael to the Sharks and see how he fairs, sink or swim. This is the season on the line now.

 

Go Mikael…

 

 

The Magic 8-Ball

The Magic 8-ball and most people with a calculator say the Flames must win tonight or it is over, seriously over. 

 

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Matchsticks and Gasoline

You must be a member of Matchsticks and Gasoline to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Matchsticks and Gasoline. You should read them.

Join Matchsticks and Gasoline

You must be a member of Matchsticks and Gasoline to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Matchsticks and Gasoline. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker