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[Open Thread] Game Fifty-Six Preview: Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks

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28-20-8
3rd in Northwest Division
7th in Western Conference
31-17-7
2nd in Pacific Division
4th in Western Conference

Every time a Canadian team comes to town, there's always a moment of emptiness when just before the last line of "O Canada" the booming voice of Gregory Raye isn't ringing out from Section 209 imploring everyone to join in.  You are missed, sir.

Back to the game.  As most all will recall (whether they want to or not), the last Sharks-Flames encounter up Calgary way was a see-saw affair... that is, it see-sawed between embarrassing and humiliating.  Given the funk Los Tiburones de San José have been in the past couple of games, it's a mite difficult viewing this matchup with any great sense of confidence.

Adding to the sense of foreboding is wondering how Joe Thornton's doing fighting the flu, and how Patrick Marleau's tweaked groin is doing and whether he'll be able to go tonight.  All right, Thornton's the one people are actually worried about.  Marleau?  Maybe a night spent watching Jarome Iginla might remind him how a captain is supposed to play.  In any case, everyone needs to step it up and for a change send the other team a message.  Besides we're getting ready for yet another early playoffs exit, that is.

Okay, (ready or not) let's drop the puck.