It was the Flames and Sharks from the SAP Centre in San Jose, California! Let’s take a look at the matinee matchup!
Of the ton of shuffling that’s happened in the lineup lately with injuries, the notable stuff was happening on the back end. Brett Kulak started the night paired with Travis Hamonic. Rasmus Andersson was with Mike Stone, and Giordano was still with Dougie Hamilton on the top pairing.
The first eight minutes were back and forth, but there weren’t any special chances worth writing home about. At 7:52, Brenden Dillen and Christ Tierney and Tiemo Meier would work a little passing absolutely worth writing home about:
Order some stamps and head to Canada Post, because just over a minute later (1:14 to be precise) there’d be a tough bounce off Jankowski’s skate at 9:06, and it’d go 2-0 SJS:
So maybe not worth writing home about was yet another tough start where the goals were coming in bunches for the opposition. And with 7:54 left, the Sharks would ring one off the iron and almost make it 3-0. The Flames would turn it back the other way, and a Mike Stone guy you might have heard about, and his slapshot you might have heard about, made it a 1-goal game:
(That was Stone’s first goal in 51 games, which would also explain why maybe you haven’t heard about that guy or his slapshot in awhile...)
Assists to Ferland and Stewart at 12:17, and the rest of the frame would go rather quietly.
SOG were 11-9 Flames after one, and hits were a whopping 21-8 for the visitors, but the Flames also lead in turnovers 6-0. Go figure. 2-1 San Jose after the opening stanza.
Considering the Flames have given up 4 or more goals in 5 of their last 6 starts, getting out of the first allowing only 2 is either a good thing, or halfway to four. (Glass half empty, amirite?)
Chris Stewart was factoring back in, as he fed Ferland in for a clean chance all alone on Jones! (He put it wide. Broad side of a barn wide.)
The upside to that is Brenden Dillion would sit for slashing Ferland on the play at 1:59, and Calgary headed to the first man advantage of the day! The downside is that they have the league’s 27th ranked PP, and with the usual problem of passing instead of shooting, they looked just like they’re ranked and failed to capitalize.
Rasmus Andersson would sit for holding at 6:14, and SJ tried the powerplay. (Flames were up 21-10 on the shot clock at this point, but outshooting opponents hasn’t been anything new or helpful for this squad lately.) Frolik got a shorthanded chance less than a minute later,but was hooked by Kevin LaBanc at 6:19 and we got some 4-on-4. Dougie Hamilton hit the post just as 4-on-4 expired and the Flames were headed to a 45 second PP, but off that bounce the Sharks headed the other way on an odd-man rush and this happened:
That Evander Kane Guy again. That’s an SHG at 8:26, 3-1 San Jose.
A couple minutes later the Sharks’ Barclay Goodrow got a high stick up on Brett Kulak at 10:27, and it was the third attempt on the PP for Calgary. Frolik found the post early, and Martin Jones got the left pad out on Troy Brouwer, and the PP moved to 0-3 on the night.
That Evander Kane Guy was looking for more, but Rittich came up with a big stop. Martin Jones stayed strong at the other end, holding off Sam Bannett down low. No dice on either side, and the Sharks went on the powerplay with 2:34 remaining as Dougie Hamilton hit the sin bin for high sticking. Kane got in with a late hit on Rittich which caused a pretty fun scrum that even got the ‘tendy involved with a few sweater-grabs
Kane wound up with a double minor for roughing, while Backlund wound up with two minutes for the same infraction in the scrum, and we were at 4-on-4 for 1:26, then an abbreviated 34 second CGY man advantage. Flames got some good looks including an off-wing rush from Johnny Gaudreau, but the 2nd frame ended 3-1 San Jo.
Frolik found the post with just over 3 minutes in, his 2nd on the night and the 4th one of the night for Calgary to that point. Meanwhile forty feet back from the play, a brew-haha broke out! Hamonic and Kane dropped the mitts at 3:15 as the scrum from last period spilled over.
(This is the only highlight of the scrap I could find. And voluntary helmet removal meant an extra two minutes for each man under Unsportsmanlike Conduct. I am just as disappointed as everyone else.)
(JUST KIDDING HERE’S THE WHOLE THING! At this point in the year we need all the team highlights we can find...)
Things were getting chippy all over, as less than a minute after the scrap, Mark Giordano got pegged for a cross check in the corner at 4:13, but CGY survived the PK.
With 9:51 to go, San Jose’s Justin Braun swept in and caught three Flames on the wrong side of the ice. That’s an odd-man rush of the absolute worst kind.
4-1 Sharks. Two minutes later with 7:50 left, it was Evander Kane vs Travis Hamonic Round Two! This one happened at the top of the blue paint, and you can pick a clean winner pretty easy.
The long shot tips in to give That Evander Kane Guy his 2nd of the night. 5-1 Sharks. (Shots 38-32 Calgary at this point. But there’s an old expression about a dead horse right?)
Garnet Hathaway (Remember him? Scrappy enforcer type? In-your-face guy? It was long enough ago when he played like that I don’t remember him either.) gets in the face of Brenden Dillon for a pretty spirited tilt. Hathaway got fed his lunch early, and came back to hit the desert table on Dillon. Five minutes each at 15:02.
That was pretty much the icing on the cake of the Flames dessert table.
5-1 Sharks, FINAL SCORE.
The Burning Embers:
Same old story, really. All kinds of shots but not necessarily high danger chances, and the ones that were get held off by solid goaltending. Rittich stopped 28 of 33 and can’t really be faulted when the team as a whole is a snowball rolling down hill these days.
It’s an 8:30 PM Mountain Time Start in Los Angeles on Monday night, as the Flames take on the Kings at the Staples Center.