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Sharks vs. Flames Preview: Back home to right the ship

San Jose looks to stay unbeaten at home

NHL: Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing loss to the woeful Arizona Coyotes, the Sharks have a chance to right the ship against another not-so-good Pacific Division team in the Calgary Flames. The Flames pose a similar challenge as the Coyotes in that they both boast some solid offensive talent (obviously Calgary holds the edge in that department) but also have a glaring weakness: penalties.

That’s great news for a Sharks team that is still very good on the power play. The Flames take more penalties than anyone else in the league and allow the 12th-most unblocked shot attempts per 60 minutes while shorthanded. Mix that in with Brian Elliott not playing well while shorthanded and you’ve got a weakness ripe for exploiting.

Of course the Sharks haven’t been great while killing penalties either. They’re allowing the eight most unblocked shot attempts while shorthanded, something that needs to be addressed before the playoffs. Just kidding, that would mean penalties are going to be called during the postseason.

While San Jose has certainly shown itself capable of falling for trap games over the years, it’s not often the Sharks do it twice in a row. Calgary will face a motivated San Jose team tonight and one that might come with Matt Nieto drawing back into the lineup after Micheal Haley played only six minutes on Tuesday.

San Jose is 4-0-0 at SAP Center this year as the Sharks look to improve on what was a pretty poor home record a season ago. The underlying numbers were fine, but when you pay $50 to see a hockey game it’d be nice to say the team won more than the possession battle, right? If you’re waiting to go to Saturday’s game against the Penguins, I don’t blame you, and you can catch tonight’s game on CSN California.

Go Sharks!

Game 1
Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. PT
SAP Center, San Jose, California, USA
Get the Calgary perspective at Matchsticks and Gasoline
How to Watch / Listen In San Jose
Stats and Figures
6-4-0 Record 4-6-1
2nd in Pacific Standings 5th in Pacific
54.87% Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick 50.01%
100.25 PDO 100.21
22.6 PP% 9.8
85.7 PK% 72.2