The brief California trip comes to a close tonight as the Calgary Flames take on the San Jose Sharks. The Flames are 1-1 on this brief trip thanks to a great goaltending performance by David Rittich and a lackluster performance by Mike Smith. The Flames were held to only one goal last night, but Rittich pitched the first shutout of his career. He correctly called out the fact that the team played great hockey in front of him and Rittich really wasn’t tested much.
With that said, the Flames are headed into a schedule loss against a San Jose team with an incredibly potent offense and Smith in net. Fortunately for the Flames he’ll be countered with one of the very few goalies in the league that has been consistently worse than he has in Martin Jones. If the two teams and goalies play like that have been for this entire season this score could look more like a football one.
In addition to the Rittich for Smith swap, Michael Stone is coming in for Rasmus Andersson. People have widely ridiculed Stone for being below replacement level, but Andersson has had worse xGF% relative to his team and hasn’t had a single point this season at even strength in 15 games. Given that it’s a back to back, it makes sense to at least spell Andersson for a game.
Tonight’s game time is at 7:00 P.M. M.S.T.