Photo Credit: Stan Szeto / USA Today Sports

FGD 76: Sharks and chum (2pm MT, SN West)

The Calgary Flames (35-30-10) remain mathematically alive in the Western Conference playoff race, but only just. Their flagging playoff chances could take another big hit this afternoon when they visit the San Jose Sharks (42-23-9). The Sharks walloped the Flames in their last meeting and Calgary was not very good. At all. Now they’re looking for a shred of redemption and a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive, barely, for another day.

The puck drops just after 2:00 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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The Flames

Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Bennett – Lazar
Brouwer (A) – Backlund (A) – Frolik
Ferland – Jankowski – Stewart
Shore – Stajan – Hathaway

Giordano (C) – Hamilton
Stone – Hamonic
Kulak – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the Flames. He’s 8-5-3 with a 2.78 goals against average and .908 save percentage. He’s backed up by Mike Smith. The projected healthy scratches are Matt Bartkowski and Tanner Glass. The Flames are without Matthew Tkachuk and TJ Brodie on a day-to-day basis due to upper-body injuries, while Sean Monahan and Kris Versteeg are done for the season.

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The Flames have been poor lately. And by “lately,” I mean since late January. They’ve lost four in a row and five of their past six games. Their elimination number is 3.5, meaning any combination of 3.5 Flames losses or Anaheim wins results in the Flames officially golfing in mid-April.

The Sharks

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Kane – Pavelski – Karlsson
Hertl – Couture – Boedker
Meier – Tierney – Labanc
Goodrow – Fehr – Hansen

Martin – Burns
Vlasic – Braun
Dillon – DeMelo

Martin Jones starts for the Sharks. He’s 27-18-6 with a 2.47 goals against average and .917 save percentage. He’s reserved by Aaron Dell. The scratches look to be Marcus Sorensen, Joakim Ryan, Maxim Letunov and Tim Heed.

You can say what you want about Evander Kane – and his off-ice issues are, to be blunt, myriad – but he’s been good for the Sharks thus far. He absolutely dissected the Flames in their last meeting, with Kane potting four goals before the end of the second period. (Granted, the Flames were scary-bad defensively in that game.) San Jose is rounding into form and this game looks to be but a minor stop-off in their road to the playoffs. They’ve won six in a row.

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Injury Report

Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee) and Marek Hrivik (upper-body) are on the injured reserve. Kris Versteeg (hip) and Sean Monahan (various) are done for the season. Matthew Tkachuk (suspected concussion) and TJ Brodie (upper-body) are both out but remain on the active roster.

San Jose: Joe Thornton (knee) is on the injured reserve. Joel Ward (shoulder), and Joonas Donskoi (upper-body) are out but remain on the active roster.

When Last We Met

This is the fourth and final game between these teams this season. The Flames have lost all three games between these clubs: 3-2, 3-2 (in a shootout) and 7-4. But if it makes you feel any better, the Flames out-shot the Sharks in all three games.

The Numbers

Wins 35 42
Points 80 93
Adjusted Corsi 53.2% 51.3%
Power Play 16.9% 21.2%
Penalty Kill 81.4% 84.4%

Know Thy Enemy

Check out these folks for sweet, sweet Sharks tweets:

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Sum It Up

The Flames have seven games left and they’re basically meaningless except from a developmental standpoint.


Let’s show Vegas something they’ve never seen before—Alberta hockey fans.

Enter the Vegas Breakaway for a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas and tickets to a Golden Knights game. Enter to win at atb.com/vegas

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      ungh… WTF is with the BS shots flukeing there way into the Flames net? I’ve never before seen so many junk and garbage goals against a team in my life.. Just Zero Bounces Over and Over and Over again…. 4 of the sharks goals are just fluke junk… and its completely reverse at the other end… Every shot bounces wide or hits the post or deflects and drops straight down to the Defenders stick… its been like this since the dumb mandatory break… This year can’t end soon enough. So Sick of it! Zero chance of winning!

    • Franko J

      Like the Sharks, both the Avs and the Knights look ready for the playoffs. Great team speed by both teams. Funny how it is when the coaches message and system is implemented by the players and in turn they take hold and accountability of an identity.
      Something the Flames are epically lacking.

  • Hockeyfan

    wow, backs sure looks like a leader and good deal for the 5.5 for lots and lots of years. What a mess. When Byng asks for 8.5 per, what does tree do? One knows he won’t take 5.5 per seeing as how he is 3 times the man and player backs ever was. Same goes for sean the strawberry muffin.

  • Franko J

    Swept by the Sharks. Plenty of soul searching and cultural adjusting by this organization come the off season. How this season is coming to a close sure reminds of how the Avalanche looked last year. No confidence and no spirit. I just hope whoever on this team comes back next year remembers the hollow feeling of not making the playoffs and be motivated to play better. Basically the Flames need a major injection youth, speed and brash confidence in their lineup.

          • I'm Just Going To Put This Out There

            Keep dreaming its happening. Right now he’s projected as 4th overall. We don’t even have a 1st for the middle of the pack they will land at, who do you propose the Team is going to give up to get him? You guys are not even trying to pass off as knowledgeable hockey fans. If BT gets a first it will most definitely be later round selection for someone like TJ and a prospect(s).

      • I'm Just Going To Put This Out There

        Yeah but all these Einsteins trashed every time I proposed the idea. Pretty sure the Team could have used someone with some actual piss and vinegar. Flames are so passive. It’s a glaring weakness all the other teams take advantage of it. Why not TJ and Bennett for Calgary boy Hall? Nevermind, Flames fans love their overrated emotional connections to the players.

  • RKD

    Flames are looking really pathetic after that shutout victory over the Oilers, 5 losses in a row. 25 goal against in that span and shut out twice, contender my butt.

  • RKD

    I quote the infamous Michel Therrien: “I’m not impressed,” he said. “It’s a pathetic performance. Half the team doesn’t care. These guys would see if we take 50 percent of their salaries because they only play 50 percent of the time. That defensive squad, I really am starting to believe their goal is to be the worst in the league.

    “And they’re doing the best job to be the worst defensive squad in the league. They turn the puck over, they have no vision, they suck. They pretend to care, but I know they don’t care.”
    Sounds familiar.

  • Dorothy

    wow, backs sure looks like a leader and good deal for the 5.5 for lots and lots of years. What a mess. When Byng asks for 8.5 per, what does tree do? One knows he won’t take 5.5 per seeing as how he is 3 times the man and player backs ever was. Same goes for sean the strawberry muffin.