Calgary Flames Game Day 77: A trip to the Bay Area (8:30pm MT)

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
19 days ago
The Calgary Flames (34-37-5, 73 points) are headed on the road for their last big road trip of the season and it begins on Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks (18-51-8, 44 points), the team with the worst record in the entire National Hockey League. After a strong game against Edmonton that was tilted by a few defensive lapses, can the Flames bounce back against the Sharks?
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The broadcast begins at 8:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as -130 favourites against the Sharks on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Coleman – Backlund – Sharangovich
Kuzmenko – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Zary – Hunt
Greer – Rooney – Duehr
Weegar – Miromanov
Gilbert – Andersson
Solovyov – Pachal
We’re projecting Dustin Wolf to start against the Sharks – in his hometown! – backed up by Jacob Markstrom. Beyond that, we’re reasonably sure Nikita Okhotiuk is the extra defender. Joel Hanley, Oliver Kylington and Andrew Mangiapane are day-to-day, though Mangiapane participated in Monday’s practice so we think he could play.
The Flames are 3-11-0 since the trade deadline. They haven’t been out-and-out bad in the 11 games that they’ve lost, but they’re obviously a team that’s a bit diminished in terms of their higher-end depth – trading four regulars for picks will do that – and they’ve simply found ways to lose games lately. The shape of their game has generally been quite good, but the details have been lacking at key times.
Case-in-point? Their once superb penalty kill has been rather drab over the past 10-15 games. If they can smooth out the rough spots in that part of the game, they could find themselves on the positive side of contests more frequently.

The Sharks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Eklund – Granlund – Zetterlund
Bailey – Kunin – Graf
Bordeleau – Studnicka – Zadina
MacDonald – Sturm – Carpenter
Ferraro – Rutta
Thrun – Burroughs
Vlasic – Addison
We’re projecting Mackenzie Blackwood in net, backed up by Devin Cooley. Their projected extra skaters are Kevin Labanc, Mike Hoffman and Givani Smith.
The Sharks are 3-11-1 since the trade deadline. Their goal differential is identical to the Flames’ during that span. But while the Flames have had pretty decent underlying numbers – and atrocious puck luck – the Sharks have been fighting it on both sides of the ice. They have fully earned their poor record, both since the deadline and during the entire season.
Barring the lottery, we hope Macklin Celebrini enjoys San Jose.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, Dan Vladar, Joel Hanley, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington.
The Sharks are without Ty Emberson, Logan Couture, Matt Benning, Vitek Vanecek, Alexander Barabanov and Klim Kostin.

The numbers

73 (.480)Points (%)44 (.286)

Head to head

This is the second of three meetings between these two teams this season. The Flames lost to the Sharks back in February.

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