After a pretty intense game last night against the Canucks, the San Jose Sharks (11-6-4) face the Calgary Flames (8-8-4) on the second night of a back-to-back at the Saddledome.
Last night was a great win for the Sharks because a couple of the guys who have been struggling mightily this year showed up in a major way. Scott Gomez and Adam Burish scored their first goals of the season and Gomez had by far his best game as a Shark.
Then there were Brad Stuart and Antti Niemi, two of the more consistent players this season, who played absolutely incredibly and were the two biggest reasons San Jose won last night. I knew the Brad Stuart signing this offseason would be a great addition, but last night he took it to another level. I for one am glad he decided to come back to San Jose.
Anyway, focusing on tonight’s game, this is the second meeting of the season between the teams. San Jose took the first meeting, which was their first game of the season, by the final of 4-1.
After the game last night I assume the Sharks will probably be a little tired. They might come out slow, and if that is the case will have to weather an early storm from the Flames who will be looking to start the game strong. Hopefully San Jose can get their feet under them quickly and not dig a hole for themselves at the beginning of the game.
In recent news the Flames put out an offer sheet on Avalanche restricted free agent Ryan O’ Reilly but was immediately matched by Colorado. It actually ended up being a good thing for the Flames because due to a weird clause in the CBA O’ Reilly would have gone through waivers immediately after he was signed because he played in the KHL after a certain date. He most certainly would have been picked up off waivers.
Leading the way for the surging Flames, who have won three of their last five games with one of those losses coming in overtime, is forward Alex Tanguay. He has 17 total points which includes six goals and 11 assists, although he has a palty -7 rating. He is tied with winger Jiri Hudler for the team lead in assists. Calgary’s leading goal scorer is Michael Cammalleri who has eight goals to go with his eight assists for a total of 16 points. Captain Jerome Iginla is also up there in as well with six goals and 10 assists for 16 total points.
What To Watch For
Like I said earlier, fatigue. The Sharks played their hearts out last night and will definitely be tired. Luckily for San Jose, Calgary is the least physical team in the league so they might have caught a break there. However, a well-rested Flames team coming off of three days of rest will definitely have a jump in their step.
I also would not be surprised to see Greiss in net tonight to spell Niemi on the second half of a back-to-back. He has played pretty well this season as the backup and has not played since February 11th so I am sure he is itching to get back in net.