January 19 2012 11:36PM
Final Score: 2-1 SOW
January 19 2012 07:30PM
With all the drama of the Sutter brothers feud and Cammalleri's return drained by the game last week, this contest comes down to the Flames simply trying to hang around the playoff picture. Calgary currently hangs on to the last rung on the WC ladder before a steep drop-off into the basement. The Flames 48 points is good enough for 12th - above them are no less than 4 clubs clawing for 8th. Below them is Anahim at 39 points and then oblivion.
Calgary played well enough in San Jose to get a point. Their new top line played Thornton et al to a standstill at ES. They'll need that to continue at least this evening to pull some points out of LA. The ugly 6-game roadie to start the new year put the Flames this far behind the 8-ball. Coming out of this 3-gamer under .500 would be bad news for an organization who has put it's weight solidly behind charing for the post-season.
January 18 2012 04:03PM
I know, I know I've beat this into the ground recently. However, with our own Vintage Flame getting into a twitter fight with Dean Molberg and Andrew Walker about Backlund this morning, I feel obliged to offer one last, brief article on this topic.
January 17 2012 11:21PM
Final Score: 2-1 SOL
January 17 2012 07:51PM
San Jose is a club that should truly scare any Flames fan. They have an abundance of what Calgary lacks - tried and true heavy hitters at even strength. This is because they are exceptional at drafting and developing quality hockey players and their management team is relatively savvy. It's a bit of a crime that Doug Wilson has yet to bring a cup to Northern California, but one would think it's only a matter of time.
Oh yeah - they have also handed Calgary some it's most embarrassing losses over the least few years.
The Sharks control the puck pretty well at ES, but they are also the best team in the league at generating shots on the PP. For the second straight season, the Sharks are leading the league by that measure by a wide margin (69.6 shots/60). Only Vancouver is close and they aren't really (59.3). The Flames, in contrast, are one of the worst at 44.6.
San Jose hasn't scored as much as was expected through the first half, but that's mostly because their PP is only clicking on about 9% of their shots. The league average is around 12% and the Flames are actually humming along at 14%, which is why their overall success rate isn't too bad. You can be certain, though, the Sharks won't be snake-bitten on the man advantage forever. It wouldn't surprise me if they almost double their PP output from the first half. The Flames, on the other hand, will fall off unless they can start shooting a lot more.