-via halifaxdrunk

Tonight, the Calgary Flames (19-27-7) try for their fourth straight victory when they host the San Jose Sharks (34-14-5) at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  The Flames have won their last three games, all of which have come on home ice.  The three-game winning streak is the Flames longest winning streak of the 2013-14 season.  It has been nearly two years since the Flames have won four or more games in a row. The last time the Flames won four straight games was March of the 2011-12 season when they actually won five games in a row from March 6, 2012 to March 15, 2012. Puck drops at 7:00 pm MT on Sportsnet West.

The Flames last three victories have all come in very different ways.  Last Wednesday, the Flames scored early on the Phoenix Coyotes and got up by a few goals.  The Coyotes fought back in the third but didn’t have enough to get past the Flames.  Friday, against Nashville, the Flames came back from a 4-2 deficit late in the 3rd to tie the game while registering three powerplay goals in the game, eventually taking the game in the shootout.  Tuesday, the Flames were involved in a seesaw battle with the league’s best, the Chicago Blackhawks.  After quickly squandering a 4-2 lead in the second period to a very good Blackhawks team, the Flames came out victorious in overtime.  Hopefully they have another recipe for success in the chamber to keep the streak going as San Jose will be no small feat. 

The Sharks are big, fast and very skilled and always pose a problem for the Flames.  In the last four meetings between the two teams San Jose has won every one of them.  However, looking at the scoresheet for the Sharks in their last couple of games, you might notice that they haven’t scored a goal in over 120 minutes.  Everything’s looking good for that fourth straight win!  Not so fast … San Jose is still 7-3-0 in their last ten.  Furthermore, San Jose absolutely destroyed the Oilers yesterday.  Ben Scrivens, however, played out of his mind and stopped 59 shots, many of which were very good scoring chances. The Sharks are likely to bring their all in this game to end the minor shutout streak that plagues them.  


As always, thanks to our dudes at www.dailyfaceoffs.com for the line-ups.

  • Hudler – Backlund – Stempniak
  • Colborne – Monahan – Galiardi
  • Bouma – Stajan – Jones
  • Westgarth – Street – McGrattan
  • Brodie – Giordano
  • Russell – Butler
  • Smid – Wideman
  • Ramo

Michael Cammalleri will be returning this evening after sitting out the last 5 or so games with a mild concussion.  He should slot in with Monahan and Galiardi on the second line.  With Cammalleri coming back, Joe Colborne’s stint at wing has concluded for the time being. He looks to center the fourth line with Westgarth and McGrattan, reuniting what must be the biggest line in the NHL, with an average height of just over 6’4’’ (Burkie approves, I`m sure). 

Alright then, scratch that whole paragraph as Cammy’s out for tonight.  So things should be the same as Tuesday in terms of line combinations.  Byron could take Street’s place in the line-up at which point he’ll slot in on the Monahan line and Colborne will come down to center the 4th.

Matt “Would You Like Franchise With That” Stajan has been excellent since inking his new four year deal.  He’s been great in all three zones, even notching a few points (4 points in the 4 games since signing the deal).  Bouma, Stajan and David Jones have served as essentially the Flames 3rd line for the last number of games and appear to have some pretty good chemistry together.

Backlund, playing in between Hudler and Stempniak on the first line, has also been dynamite of late.  In fact, Backlund has been very good since about late November, especially from an offensive perspective.  Since November 22, 2013, Backlund has registered 17 points in 29 games.  If we forget the start of the season, this Mikael Backlund that we are seeing today would be on pace for 48 points in 82 games.  There is a rumbling that perhaps Backlund wins himself a reserve spot on the Swedish Olympic team as they look to have a few injuries to some of their key personnel.  It is probably not all that likely but it would be great to see the kid get a shot to play for his country.

Ramo will get the start today.  Interestingly, the Flames have won their last two games and have pulled the starting goalie in both games.  Ramo was pulled in the Friday game after Eric Nystrom registered his 56th goal  of the game (I believe it was actually Nystrom’s 3rd goal).  Berra was pulled after the second in the Chicago game after giving up four goals over the first 40 minutes.  That’s certainly an odd situation that you don’t see too often.


  • Pavelski – Thornton – Nieto
  • Marleau – Wingels – Burns
  • Desjardins – Kearns – Kennedy
  • Brown – McCarthy – Hayes
  • Demers – Vlasic
  • Stuart – Braun
  • Boyle – Hannan
  • Stalock

The Sharks are a little banged up right now with Hertl, Torres, Burrish and Couture all on the shelf.  Also, the often injured Martin Havlat is also out and doesn’t even appear on the Sharks injury list.  Is he still in the NHL? Who knows.

Pavelski has been playing out of this world pretty much all season, showing why the Sharks shelled out huge money to re-sign him last year.  He`s scoring at a point a game clip on the year and has 21 goals in his last 24 games.  He had a few goals and was dangerous all night when the Flames faced off against the Sharks on January 18th.  The Flames will need to contain him tonight to keep the streak going.

Niemi went last night against Edmonton so we could see back-up Alex Stalock in the pipes tonight.  


The Flames, on their current season long five-game home stand, will try for their fourth straight win of the season. A feat they haven’t reached in nearly two years.  Achieving the fourth straight victory will be a tall order against the always dangerous San Jose Sharks.  The Sharks are going to be extra hungry tonight as they try to ensure they are not shutout for their third straight game.  The Flames, as a result, will need a strong performance from everyone if they are to keep the streak alive.

  • Colin.S

    If Camm and Glenncross were back and pushed every winger down exactly one slot(with McGratton and Westgarth scratches) it’d be a respectable roster to ice. Don’t know if its gonna win a lot but it’d be okay hockey I think.

    Also there is a bad feeling I’m having that the game goes into double digits for goals against. After SJ had ZERO luck against Edmonton last night, I have a bad feeling that all the goals they should have had last night will be coming tonight.

    Should be a good game though, Flames have been respectable as of late and SJ always plays great.

      • Bean-counting cowboy

        I have a bad feeling about this one too. Maybe Hartley does too and he is keeping Cammy out to spare him the minus 5 he would have been as to not deteriorate his trade value!

  • RedMan

    We beat the Hawks with Westgarth A.N.D. McGrattan playing, proof positive that there is a higher power in play and on the Flames’ side.

    (In keeping with the spirit of the 12-step-rebuild philosophy, feel free to replace ‘higher power’ with the deity of your choosing)


    • piscera.infada

      No no no. You got it all wrong.

      The Flames have been winning because of all the liberty taking that didn’t happen because Kevin “Bossy” Westgarth and Brian “ONE PUNCH” McGrattan were sitting on the bench being nuclear deterrents and opening space for players they never saw icetime with.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    nice play by backlund to set up a goal. keep it up backs been a huge fan since young stars in penticton bc. I met him at dennys and although he played a great game..all he could say was i could have done more…good to see confidence

  • Colin.S

    Who has been running the Flames twitter account since the new year??


    I’ve seen other posts by the account as well that are very unusual and different from normal postings:


    Very weird, quite honestly I don’t care for it, seems to forced and dishonest, like they are trying to be funny but miss the mark.

    Also why did the Heat sign Trevor Gillies: http://flames.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=703025 Also LOL at listing his PIMS in the news release like that’s such a great thing.

  • RexLibris

    Remember that whole “Be Bad for Ekblad” thing…

    You’re doing it wrong.


    Nice game so far, but if you really want to win in style let the Sharks get about seventy more shots on net.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    is it just me or is calgary playing old time hockey lately after the canucks brawl..they seem to do it well flames image for years..rough n tuff hockey ..im confused about the gillies signing too…maybe burke had a hand in it….also another good assist by backs on gio’s goal

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Backs has been playing real well as of late. 2 goals in the Chicago game and 2 helpers here tonight. He’s tearing his critics a new one, he is valuable to this team. Some players take longer than others to develop.

  • piscera.infada

    I don’t really care what people say about his “ceiling”, Monahan’s going to be a player in this league for a long time. The kid is 19, in his first NHL season, and he’s always in the right place. Kid’s got a knack.

  • RexLibris

    On the T. Gillies signing…

    Here’s the presser “Gillies, a native of Cambridge, Ontario is a veteran of 57 NHL games (261 PIMs), 380 AHL games (1,536 PIMs), and 222 ECHL games (1,069 PIMs). Gillies has played in five games this season with the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) recording 21 penalty minutes and seven games this season with HIFK Helsinki (SM-Liiga) recording 97 penalty minutes.”

    He’s listed at 6’3″ and 231lbs.

    He may only be for the Heat, but this is a bit extreme even for Burke.

    Gillies hasn’t ever scored above a 0.10 ppg pace in any league past junior (his OHL ppg was 0.14), yet managed nearly 5 minutes a game in the ECHL, 4 PIMs per game in the AHL and roughly 4.6 PIMs per game in his 57 NHL games.

    There’s gritchart and then there’s this.

    If Gillies sees the NHL this season, which is possible, I suspect the league office will be watching very closely.

    This guy gives goons a bad name.

    • Colin.S

      Yeah that signing is all sorts of red flags. I don’t know how involved Burke was involved with this or if it was all Conroy, but who ever it was dropped the ball. Make a smart move in waiving SoB then make a boneheaded one brining in possibly one of the most embarrassing goons to ever play an nhl game.

      As for todays actual game, full marks to the Flames, really good game.

    • The Real Slim Brodie

      How do you amass 97 penalty minutes in the SM-Liiga in SEVEN GAMES?!?! What possible reason could they have for wanting this guy? He’s played for like 20 teams and rarely completes the season before they send him elsewhere. I don’t get it…

      • Colin.S

        This organizations incredibly weird desire for “Grit”, usually defined as how well you can punch someone’s face. I’ll never understand it. tonight’s game being a good example, I see guys like Bouma or Backlund even throwing the body on the forecheck and that’s tough, I see the hit Stajan took and he gets up and competes, that’s tough, I just don’t get the need to face punch.

        • Colin.S

          I agree. That is what I would consider Tough and gritty. Being able to take and give a big hit at the opportune time. Regarding fighting, I think a lot of players are willing to fight if it is an emotional fight brought on by a specific event.
          The flames were tough and tough to play against last night. that’s how it should be.

  • beloch

    The Flames and Ben Scrivens just death valley’d the San Hose Sharks! Sweet!

    That was a quality game from the Flames tonight. I am really starting to like Colborne on the wing. He’s really strong with the puck on the boards and that was a great pass to Monahan in the third period. Well, it was bouncing a bit, but Monahan still nailed it. Very nice!

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    good game flames…my girls 2 and 4 yrs old were cheering for monahan for 20 minutes and then he scored…not sure why they picked him but they started loving him the moment he became a flame…when i was the same age i was cheering theo.. you can put it in the win column!!! miss those days