Calgary Flames Game Day 74: Swimming with the Sharks (2pm MT, SNW/960)

Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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With their playoff hopes hanging on by a thread, the Calgary Flames (32-26-15, 79 points) have a matinee game against the San Jose Sharks (19-38-15, 53 points). The Flames quite simply need many points to stay mathematically alive, while the Sharks are in Connor Bedard territory and begin the day in 32nd place in the NHL standings.
The broadcast begins at 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and the national feed) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Ritchie – Kadri – Dube
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Stecher
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start for the Flames after backing up in Anaheim. He’s backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Jakob Pelletier and Adam Ruzicka. We’re expecting Chris Tanev to miss his third consecutive game with an upper body injury.
Are the Flames mathematically dead? Nope. They’re still alive, technically-speaking. But they need to go on a nine game winning streak and get a lot of help to make the post-season. It’s not impossible, but for a team that’s only put together a few three-game streaks, it’s not tremendously likely.
Keep an eye on Mikael Backlund, who’s playing in his 900th NHL game.

The Sharks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Agozzino – Couture – Barabanov
Gregor – Hertl – Labanc
Peterson – Sturm – Zetterlund
Lindblom – Lorentz – Kaut
Vlasic – Karlsson
Ferraro – Benning
Simek – Kniazev
Kaapo Kahkonen is expected to start in net, backed up by James Reimer. Sharks coach David Quinn noted on Friday (via Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now) that Matt Benning and Jacob MacDonald are game-time decisions.
The Sharks are dead-last in the NHL standings. They’ve got a roster that has a few impressive up-and-comers, but they’re playing out the string (and they’ve kept most of their strongest prospects on their AHL team). The Sharks are what they are right now, and they’re hoping next season will be better.
For now, it’s been a tough season in the Bay Area.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone and Chris Tanev.
The Sharks are without Markus Nutivaara, Andreas Johnsson, Luke Kunin, Jonah Gadjovich, Jacob MacDonald and Evgeny Svechnikov.

The playoff race

The Flames enter Saturday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re one point behind of Nashville (for ninth place), but Nashville has three games in hand.
  • They’re six points behind Winnipeg (for the final wild-card spot).
  • They’re seven points behind Seattle (for the first wild-card spot), but Seattle has two games in hand.
To reach 95 points (and have a reasonable chance at a playoff spot), the Flames need 16 points over the final 9 games – that’s an .889 pace in their remaining games. The Flames’ elimination number is 6.5. Any combination of Flames losses or Winnipeg wins totalling 6.5 eliminates Calgary from playoff contention.
If the season ended today, by virtue of points percentage, the Flames would be drafting 14th overall (before the lottery).

The numbers

79 (.541)Points (%)53 (.368)

Head to head

This is meeting three of the four scheduled between these teams this season. The Flames won their first two games by a combined score of 12-5.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Sharks Twitter:

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