As you probably already know, the San Jose Sharks have turned their game around very quickly, for the worse. They began the season with a lofty 6-0-0 record and were the last undefeated team remaining in the NHL. Their offense was rolling on all cylinders and their defense was there to back everything up.
Since that amazing start to the season, the Sharks have dropped five straight contests. Three out of the five were against division foes, which caused the Sharks to drop down to 3rd place in the highly competitive Pacific Division. In almost all five games, the Sharks were nursing a lead at some point in the game. Each time they failed to keep it. Today, the Sharks will look to end their struggles against another Pacific Division foe, the Calgary Flames.
Opponent Record (Last 10): 3-7-0
Offense: Mediocre. The Flames have shown that, at times, they can score. They have had at least 10 3-goal games so far this year and their goals for stands in the middle of the pack at 16th in the NHL. With forwards like Mike Cammalleri and Sean Monahan, the Flames definitely have the potential to be a strong offensive team.
Defense: Cold. So far this year Calgary’s defense has not been up to par, at all. Their goals against average of 3.53 (29th in the NHL) and their 60 goals against (28th in the NHL) pretty much tell the story here.
Power Play: 12.5% (23rd)
Penalty Kill: 75.5% (28th)
Players to Watch: Flames: T.J. Galiardi will be facing off against his former team, the Sharks, for the second time this year. Expect him to be hungry for revenge against the team that traded him away this past offseason.
Sharks: During the Sharks’ recent woes, one forward has been the most effective. He is Tommy Wingels, he “scored” a phantom OT goal against the Sabres and he has posted 3 goals and 2 assists in the last 5 Sharks losses.
The San Jose Sharks need a bounce-back game here. We thought they would be able to get the W against the worst team in the Central Division, the Winnipeg Jets, but the Sharks blew three leads to lose in the shootout. I am going to categorize this game as a must-win situation if the Sharks want to come out of this tough road trip with the majority of the possible points. They lose this matchup and the Sharks’ confidence will be at an all-time low. They win? They will be flying into Edmonton with some positive momentum. The win against a lower-level team is there for the taking, the Sharks will just need to generate chances and produce.
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