|Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks, 7:30 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary Alberta|
|TV: RSN, CSCA|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames will look to close the shrinking gap between themselves and the Sharks on Wednesday night. As we’ve passed the halfway point of the season the Flames are still “stuck” in 4th place in the Pacific, 6 points behind the first place Sharks. The last time these two locked horns the Flames were handed a 4-1 loss which evened the season series at 1-1.
The Flames have been slightly inconsistent as the calendar was nearing the change to 2017. As well as the Flames had played in November and December, they’ve equally as up and down since just after the Christmas break. Calgary is 3-3-0 in their last 6, including a 2-0 shutout at the hands of the struggling Winnipeg Jets. Brian Elliott has looked shaky in his starts and Chad Johnson hasn’t been playing like the goalie who won 6 in a row to help save the Flames season. If the Flames are going to be serious about getting into and competing in the playoffs, both Johnson and Elliott need to get it together and start piling up wins. On the goal scoring side, the Flames are getting most of their offence from the 3M line of Backlund, Frolik and Tkachuk. The Flames need Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Dougie Hamilton to start pitching in or things could go sideways quickly.
The Sharks meanwhile sit atop the Pacific Division with 52 points, but they’ve been as inconsistent as the Flames. San Jose is a on a mini 2 game winning streak that was preceded by a 3 game losing streak and before that they needed OT twice to extend a winning streak. The Sharks are still the top dog in the Pacific, but their 52 points isn’t insurmountable considering how up and down the Pacific and Western Conference has been this season. One thing the Sharks have going for them is they are 5-5-0 when visiting the Flames over their last 10.
Here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||San Jose Sharks|
|4th Pacific||Division||1st Pacific|
|7th West||Conference||3rd West|
|backlund (12)||goals||burns (15)|
|Backlund (27)||Points||Burns (39)|
|Johnson (.922)||Save %||Jones (.917)|
|20.3 (12th)||PP %||16.1 (22nd)|
|82.0 (16th)||PK %||83.3 (9th)|
|Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)||Record||GAA||Save %|
|Sharks: Jones (E)||20-13-2||2.21||.917|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Mikkel Boedker bags hat trick to bust slump https://t.co/inzvYF4KOP— Fear The Boedker (@fearthefin) January 11, 2017
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 0 Winnipeg Jets 2
The Flames last took to the ice on Monday night and it looked like they left more than Brett Kulak’s luggage somewhere else. The Flames trudged through 60 minutes and it showed in their 2-0 loss to the floundering Winnipeg Jets. Here’s our recap, the highlights, Glen Gulutzan’s thoughts on the loss and stats from the contest.
|Flames vs Jets Stats 1/9/17|
San Jose Sharks 5 Edmonton Oilers 3
The Sharks put a little breathing room between themselves and the Oilers with a 5-3 win on Tuesday night. Mikkel Boedker pumped in 3 to get the hat trick and Martin Jones stopped 33 shots to backstop the win. Fear The Fin has the recap and NHL.com has the highlights.
Players To Watch
Calgary Flames: Sam Bennett (C). Something has to give for Calgary’s young and talented, but very streaky centre. The Sharks could very well be the cure for his ills. In the Flames 4-1 loss back on December 20th Bennett had the Flames only goal and he picked up an assist in Calgary’s 3-2 win in their first meeting. Bennett only has 2 points in his last 10, but has fared well against the Sharks in a limited sample size. Prior to this season, in 5 games versus the Sharks he had 4 points.
San Jose Sharks: Joe Pavelski (C). The recently named All Star has 3 goals and an assist in his last 5 trips to the rink and has collected 3 helpers in 2 games against the Flames this season. Pavelski has 37 points on the season, 15 of those on the road and in his prior 10 meetings with the Flames he has 9 points.