FGD #24: A Visit to the Shark Tank (8:30pm MT)

Less than 24 hours after suffering a regulation loss, the Calgary Flames hit the ice once again in a hostile environment to try to ensure they don’t suffer back-to-back set-backs.

Tonight’s challenge, the 24th contest of this National Hockey League season for the Flames (13-8-2), will come against the San Jose Sharks (10-9-4) in another Pacific Division clash!

It’s the latest start of the season, as the puck drops at 8:30pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

The big “news” tonight is the return of winger David Jones after, sadly, yet another injury, and that Devin Setoguchi has been put on waivers. Someone – possibly Corban Knight – will head to the farm team today, presumably to return tomorrow once “Gooch” has been claimed or banished.

Tonight’s lines, via our main buddies at Daily Faceoff:

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Karri Ramo gets the start, his 9th of the season. He’s 4-2-1 with a 2.88 goals against average and a .898 save percentage.

It’ll be interesting to see how much ice time Jones gets in his return and how he’s used. There’s a chance the lines could become a bit of a jumble, particularly if the Flames get down early and need a boost and/or if Hartley determines that Jones shouldn’t be on the shut-down line and looks for options elsewhere.

But they better not break up the Ferland-Jooris-Byron line. For the love of all that is good, keep those guys together.

UPDATE: Knight to AHL official, Jones also off IR official. Also Flames assistant GM Mike Holditch has reportedly resigned (per Roger Millions and Pat Steinberg, who typically know these things.)

THE SHARKS

Via Daily Faceoff, lines!

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Antti Niemi starts for the Sharks, making his 17th start of the season. He’s 7-6-3 with a 2.58 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.

Lots of interesting names on the Sharks – Barclay Goodrow is the best name in sports, bar none – and the key thing here is the Sharks have really done a strong job building from within. A great deal of these players were drafted and developed by the San Jose organization, so they know the team, they know their teammates and they know the systems.

Any shock that Calgary’s apparent turnaround comes with a huge number of home-grown players in the line-up?

ELSEWHERE

The Calgary Hitmen host the Prince Albert Raiders tonight at the Saddledome. Keegan Kanzig will be in action for the home side, while Jets prospect Josh Morrissey will suit up for the Raiders.

The Adirondack Flames host the Toronto Marlies, as well.

SUM IT UP

After a tough test and a comeback that fell short last night, the Flames have a chance at California redemption tonight against the Sharks. But facing another tough, fast divisional opponent, they’ll have to be sharper earlier-on in the game if they hope to capture two more points.