Tonight the San Jose Sharks (19-11-6) take on the struggling Calgary Flames (13-8-4) as they look to extend their winning streak to seven games. A win would make it the second seven-game winning streak of the season for the Sharks, the first of which was to start the season.
While the Sharks were very busy at the trade deadline both selling and acquiring players the Flames were mostly selling. Their biggest trade was longtime captain Jerome Iginla who was traded to the Penguins. Calgary also traded away Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues and got a good return for him. There were even rumors that Kipprusoff would be traded, and possibly to the Leafs, but nothing materialized.
The Sharks have been on a tear as of late and have now won six games in a row including five-straight at home during this homestand. The Sharks are in very good position to extend that streak to seven tonight but must still be cautious. These teams have each beat each other once this season and this game determines the series winner.
I say watch out because the Flames will definitely come out angry tonight after being destroyed at home by the final of 8-2 at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers in their last game. Overall Calgary is on a three-game losing streak and wants that to end tonight while also spoiling the longest current winning streak in the league.
Tonight the Sharks will be without their recent acquistions Raffi Torres and Scott Hannan. Torres has been feeling under the weather and a little sick while Hannan has been hurt since the middle of March and is still a few more games away from being game ready. Torres should be ready to go on Sunday in the final game of the home stand, but that is not a guarantee. Jason Demers will also be out once again with his head injury meaning Tennyson will be in the lineup once again.
Leading the team in points for the Flames are centerman Michael Cammaleri and Alex Tanguay who each have 25 points so far this season although Cammaleri has done it in three less games. Cammaleri has 11 goals (second on the team) and 14 assists while Tanguay has nine goals and 16 assists. Calgary’s leading goal-scorer is Curtis Glencross with 14 goals while winger Lee Stempniak leads the team with 17 assists. Stempniak is also second on the team in points with 24.
This will be another big game for the Sharks, but at this point in the season against this opponent it is a must win, especially at home. If they are able to win they would pull into fourth place in the conference by leaping over the Kings who are one point ahead of the Sharks. In fact San Jose would be tied with the Canucks who are in third place but that would not matter because the Canucks lead their division.