Game Day Preview 01/17/12: Flames and Sharks

 

The Flames are starting their three-game road trip this evening since recently losing 4-1 to LA on Saturday. 
 

Calgary is going to need to step on the gas a bit for this game for a couple reasons. The most obvious is that they are currently four points out of eighth place in the West. The second reason is that San Jose holds an impressive record at home of late, going 7-1-1 in its last nine and 2-0-1 over the last three. It's almost important to note the Sharks record against the Flames: They've won seven of their last nine home games with Calgary and four of its last five overall against the Flames.

It's safe to say that Calgary are the underdogs for tonights game, but it is in fact that games like these need to conqured if they want a nice playoff spot. As of late,San Jose's powerplay is looking weak (currently 28th), so this could be something Calgary can work with. 

Although the odds may not be in the Flames' corner, I wouldn't underestimate this team. Sometimes they start off slow, but have proven they can be one of the best. 

Kiprusoff should be in between the poles tonight but unfortunltely, he'll have some banged up players playing in front of him. Alex Tanguay,Scott Hannan, David Moss, Derek Smith, and Matt Stajan are scratched for tonight while the Sharks are without Colin White and Martin Havlat. 

This is in fact the first time these teams meet tonight in the 2011-12 season. We'll see what happens. 

Projected lines and pairings:

Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Blake Comeau
Lance Bouma - Blair Jones - Lee Stempniak
Tom Kostopoulos - Roman Horak - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Chris Butler
Mark Giorfdano - Cory Sarich
TJ Brodie - Anton Babchuk