With Alex Stalock still injured and Troy Grosenick sustaining an upper-body injury in practice yesterday, the Sharks are currently mired in a desperate search for an emergency backup goalie. They’ll need one before 7:30 PM tonight when the puck drops on the third game of the Sharks’ six-game homestand, a homestand that has yet to produce a San Jose victory. Tonight’s opponent is the inexplicably red-hot Calgary Flames, currently third in the Pacific Division and ahead of both the Sharks and Kings despite being widely expected to compete in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes prior to the season.
Under Bob Hartley the Flames have been an aggressive team defensively and are carried by one of the best pairings in the league but, ultimately, aren’t anywhere near as good as their record indicates. They’re the third-worst possession team in the league currently riding the NHL’s best 5-on-5 shooting percentage; when that comes back down to earth, so will the Flames. Hopefully that process begins tonight and hopefully the Sharks won’t need to turn to whatever emergency netminder they end up plucking off the street.
Tale Of The Tape
|13-8-2, 28 points
||Record||10-9-4, 24 points|
|3rd in Pacific||Rank||5th in Pacific
Projected Sharks Lineup
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Tomas Hertl
Matt Nieto – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Barclay Goodrow – James Sheppard – Tommy Wingels
John Scott – Andrew Desjardins – Tyler Kennedy
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Matt Tennyson
Projected Flames Lineup
Curtis Glencross – Sean Monahan – Lance Bouma
Johnny Gaudreau – Markus Granlund – Jiri Hudler
Michael Ferland – Josh Jooris – Paul Byron
Brandon Bollig – Corban Knight – Sven Baertschi
Mark Giordano – T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman
Ladislav Smid – Deryk Engelland
James Sheppard scored the Sharks’ lone regulation goal as the team lost a shootout to the Flames in Calgary and lost Logan Couture to a lower-body injury but did clinch a playoff spot due to the point they earned in these teams’ March 24th meeting last season.
- After appearing as though he might be a healthy scratch due to the lines the Sharks ran in practice yesterday, Matt Nieto will be in the lineup tonight on the team’s second line with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski.
- John Scott is also expected to return to the lineup (thanks Brandon Bollig!) meaning Tye McGinn is likely the Sharks’ lone forward scratch.
- Matt Tennyson will play his fifth career NHL game tonight and first since the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He’ll be paired with new acquisition Brenden Dillon as the coaching staff reunites Mirco Mueller and Brent Burns.
- Karri Ramo will be between the pipes for Calgary after Sharks franchise nemesis Jonas Hiller backstopped the Flames to a 3-2 loss in Anaheim last night.