Losing to the Calgary Flames, who were on the second of a back-to-back, is a dreadful experience. Karri Ramo played a hell of a game in net for the Flames, stopping all 32 of the Sharks' shots on goal; but the Sharks just haven't been playing well enough this season for the fans to tip their caps to a great performance by a bad goaltender on what should have been a tired team.
The Sharks have serious problems this season. This game is by no means a microcosm of those problems, but is nevertheless fueling the fire of discontent that is burning in the heart of the SAP Center.
Despite outshooting Calgary 32-19, the Sharks didn't sustain near enough pressure in the Flames' zone. They failed to generate many second chances, and, more importantly, they didn't take advantage of a tired team by hemming them into their own zone. There are a lot of problems with this San Jose team right now, which makes tough-luck losses all the more difficult to swallow.
After Pavelski and Glencross went off for coinciding minor roughing penalties, the Flames were able to establish possession in the Sharks zone for long enough to gas the San Jose defenders. A deft pass from TJ Brodie found Jiri Hudler who beat Niemi glove side to give the Flames a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
San Jose struggled to hold possession inside the Flames' zone, getting shot attempts that always seemed to be bookended by stretches of Calgary possession. With eight minutes to play in the third, Patrick Marleau had a great chance right in front of the net, but he couldn't corral the pass and tie the game. Just a few minutes later Marleau had another great scoring chance but again wasn't able to capitalize on it.
With fewer than two minutes remaining, Justin Braun was sent to the penalty box for tripping, effectively ending the Sharks chances of tying the game up.
- What is most frustrating about the Sharks this season, in my eyes, is that there isn't just a problem. There's roster construction, roster deployment and less-than-stellar play by players being deployed from said roster. It's a mess, and it doesn't appear a janitor is on the way.
- Antti Niemi played well tonight, which seems like a waste given the result.
- The Sharks out Corsi'd the Flames by 28 — they only out Fenwick'd them by 12. The Flames do a bit of shot blocking!
- Todd McLellan is not in a great position right now. After being spared from a sacrificial firing during the summer, he was given a roster worse than the one that lost in seven games to the Kings. Since then he has made more-than-questionable lineup decisions which only exacerbates the Sharks' problems. Firing him might feel nice, but I don't think it will cure what ails San Jose.
- And if you think McLellan has been "the problem" for the past several season, well, I dunno man. Go take a walk or something.
- #FireJohnScott #FireMikeBrown #FireMe
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Karri Ramo
2nd Star: Jiri Hudler
3rd Star: whatever