FGD: Swimming with the Sharks (Prospects)

 

 

The Calgary Flames have had a nice trip to Penticton, having won both of their games. Now they have the chance to run the table when they face the winless San Jose Sharks. Game-time is 6:30pm MT and you can experience all the action via streaming video on the Flames site or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
 
The Sharks lost to the Canucks 3-2 on Thursday and the Jets 5-3 on Friday, while the Flames beat the Oilers 5-2 on Thursday and the Canucks 4-1 on Friday. Can the Flames keep their foot on the proverbial gas on Sunday evening?

THE LINE-UP

Through two games, seven Flames have two or more points: Markus Granlund, John Ramage, Sean Monahan, Max Reinhart, Eric Roy, Michael Ferland and Josh Jooris. That’s a sign that a few things are clicking right now. Via Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald and Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960, lines for tonight:

Sven Baertschi – Josh Jooris – Coda Gordon
Michael Ferland – Markus Granlund – Dylan Smoskowitz
Turner Elson – Corban Knight – Ben Hanowski
Andy Taranto – Sean Monahan – Emile Poirier
 
Patrick Sieloff – John Ramage
Keegan Kanzig – Brett Kulak
Tyler Wotherspoon – Eric Roy

Brossoit starts. Taking the night off are Zach Davies, Ryan Culkin, Max Reinhart and Linden Penner. Part of me wonders how a Ferland/Granlund/Baertschi line would fare in pre-season. The rest of me really likes those defensive pairings.

THE OPPOSITION

Only two Sharks have more than one point – D-man Konrad Abelthouser and forward Rylan Schwartz. Goalie Troy Grosenick has played four periods and has both losses, while J.P. Andersson may see the brunt of the workload against the Flames.
 
After two losses in two days, the Sharks had the day off yesterday and are probably – hopefully for them – focused on walking away from this tournament with a win to show for their efforts. As it stands, the Sharks and the Oilers have zero wins thus far, and the Sharks will not want to be known as the worst team to show up.
 
That said, the Flames have momentum on their side and they’re dressing a fairly strong line-up.

SUM IT UP

Calgary has traditionally shown up at the YoungStars tournament and done fairly poorly. Not so this year. They’re poised to go undefeated and are facing a desperate, winless Sharks team that will be hard-pressed to come out of this weekend with a win.
 
With a bunch of young players looking to continue to make a statement – that they should be on the NHL roster come October 1 – expect another strong showing from the Flames. However, don’t expect the Sharks prospects to roll over without a fight.