On February 4th. the Sharks will visit The Calgary Flames and you pal Ian is going to be Breaking It Down! This is your semi regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers and my opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.
Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks
Current Record (W-L-OTL): 27-17-7, 61 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-3-2
Power Play: 21.3% (8th.)
Penalty Kill: 82.0% (14th.)
Current Streak: Lost their last game in a shootout.
Notes: The San Jose Sharks are 18-4-3 when scoring first.
Know Your Enemy - The Calgary Flames
Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 28-20-3, 59 Points and 4th in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 7-3-0
Power Play: 17.1% (21st.)
Penalty Kill: 77.3% (26th.)
Current Streak: 2 game winning streak
Notes: The Flames are the best 3rd period team in the league with 66 goals for.
Ian Breaks Down The Flames: Not much has changed about the Flames since we saw them last, they continue to play well winning 7 out of their last 10 games including a shootout win at their last meeting with the Sharks in the Tank. They are breathing down the Sharks necks with 59 points after playing the same number of games played they are at least 4 points ahead in the wildcard position of a suddenly surging pack that includes the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars while the Kings continue to flounder. They are also 2 points behind a suddenly slumping Jets team for the top wild card seed. In net tonight for the Flames will be Jonas Hiller who has had some great games against the Sharks in his career despite a losing 8-10-2 record with a GAA 2.32 and .928 SV%, Hiller is always a threat to steal a game. It's very fair to say that these are an important 2 points for both teams.
Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The Sharks are coming off a very disappointing end to what was in the bigger picture a very successful home stand. It was disheartening to show up and play as uninspired as they did for most of the game before finally waking up in the 3rd. It was also probably equally as sad to see the sheer amount of fan apology for the shit game. I know demanding better does not always equal on ice results but as fans of this team we should demand better than efforts like that. I could spend the rest of the blog ripping apart all the stupid things we said about why the game was ok but onwards and upwards. Alex Stalock get's the start tonight and no one on the team needs a better game than he does right now. He has been average to bellow average in what I'll admit is a small sample size going 5-5-1 with a 2.65 GAA and .906 SV% which is not good enough. This start makes sense though because they are going to save Niemi for the second part of a back to back against Vancouver. On an unrelated note I really enjoyed the first part of the Epix series and I am glad that so far it has not hurt their performance on the ice as some teams (like the Kings LOL) have gone on slides during previous shows. Hopefully I have not Jinxed anything. Chris Tierney has been called up and no word of Tarasov being sent down. Although it does not appear that Mueller will finally draw back into the lineup it should shock no one if he finally does.
My Prediction: Sharks get back in the win column and put some much needed space between themselves and The Flames in the standings.
Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you want to read previous blogs please check out http://ianblogssharks.blogspot.ca
What are your thoughts on tonight's game?