The Flames continue their California road trip against their new Pacific Division foes tonight, the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks have been very impressive early on in this new season, and that extends beyond rookie Tomas Hertl's four goal performance 11 days ago.
Through seven games, the Sharks lead the league in scoring, putting almost five pucks in the net per game while allowing only 1.71 goals per game, good for third best in the league. The Sharks are also averaging nearly 41 shots per game, while the Flames are languishing near the bottom of the league in that category early on.
The good news for Calgary is that Mike Cammalleri has been cleared to resume practicing with the team, and his return will add back some of the much-needed punch their top six has been lacking.
Bob Hartley has also chosen to shake things up in net tonight, awarding Karri Ramo his first start since the season opener in Washington. It'll be trial by fire for Ramo, who has not played for two weeks and is still adjusting to life in the NHL after returning from Europe this summer. The Sharks are not exactly the kind of team a goalie wants to face well, ever, but especially in just their second game following a lengthy absence from North America.
Ramo wil face fellow Finn Antti Niemi in goal. The Sharks are missing defenceman Dan Boyle, who was hospitalized following this scary hit by Maxim Lapierre. Former Flame Brad Stuart is back for the boys in teal, however, after serving a three game suspension for his hit to the head of Rangers forward Rick Nash, which left the former Blue Jacket concussed.
Sharks (via FTF):
In other news, Scott Hannan still plays in the NHL. Who knew?
Ben Street will play in this game after taking a hit that appeared to leave him feeling woozy in the Ducks game, and playing just 12:49. Hartley finally realized that playing Mikael Backlund on the first line gives him the most powerful top three he can likely compile using the players he has at his disposal, and the best chance that his first line will outplay its opposition, which is nice. We'll see how long that lasts.