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The San Jose Sharks are on a four-game losing streak.
The Calgary Flames are 2-1-2 in their last five games.
The Flames are 3-0-0 against the Sharks this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
San Jose Sharks
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San Jose Sharks
22-42-16 (7th in Pacific Division)
37-27-17 (5th in Pacific Division)
Erik Karlsson (100)
Tyler Toffoli (73)
Logan Couture (27)
Tyler Toffoli (34)
Erik Karlsson (75)
Elias Lindholm (42)
Henry Thrun (1)
Mikael Backlund (23)
Erik Karlsson (2.56)
Shots (Per Game)
Nazem Kadri (3.27)
The San Jose Sharks will travel to Calgary, Alberta, to face the Flames for the fourth and final time this season. The Flames have handled the Sharks in all three of their previous games and beaten them by scores of 5-2, 7-3, and 5-3, respectively.
The Sharks have had a disappointing season and will be one of the first teams to have a pick in the NHL Draft. They traded away Timo Meier at the Trade Deadline and have entered rebuild mode. San Jose’s 60 points put them in the bottom five in the NHL. On the other side, the Flames were eliminated last night from the Playoffs after losing 3-2 in a shootout to the Nashville Predators. They can finish the season with 93 points but will have to look toward next season.
The Sharks have struggled all season long and only got worse after the Trade Deadline. Their regression is only due to them trading away their best player. Offensively, San Jose finds themselves in the bottom ten. They average less than 2.9 goals per game and have only scored five times in their previous three games. On the defensive end, they are even worse. The Sharks allow nearly four goals a game and lack quality defensemen. Overall, San Jose simply does not have the pieces to field a competitive team.
The Sharks are led by Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl. This is an interesting group because Karlsson (the Sharks’ points leader) is a defenseman. These three are all good players and will be critical to this matchup. If they bring their A-game, the Sharks may have a chance.
James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen make up the Sharks’ goaltending duo. I could speak in depth about these two, but the simple fact is they are both subpar netminders.
The Flames just missed out on the Playoffs but were competitive all season long. They spent portions of the season in a Wild Card spot and portions of the season right outside of the Wild Card race. Offensively, Calgary is an average team. They have a handful of players with scoring ability but only average a little above 3.1 goals per game. Defensively, the Flames are a little better but only a touch above average. The Flames have a lot of talent but only put up middle-of-the-pack numbers this season. They fought until the end, but it just was not their year.
The Flames are without any stars but are led by Tyler Toffoli, Elias Lindholm, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Nazem Kadri. These players have all been stars in the past but (other than Toffoli) have dropped off a little bit this season.
Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar are the two Flames’ goaltenders. Their numbers are pretty similar, and neither one is much better than the other. Both of these netminders showed flashes of dominance but were mediocre all season long.
The Flames have significantly more pieces than the Sharks and are playing at home, so I expect them to win this game easily. Bet on Calgary.
The Sharks are the underdogs but can win if they score first and play tough defense.
As I mentioned above, the Sharks have only scored five goals in their previous three games. Their offense has been slow and nearly nonexistent. San Jose must flip the script today and can do this by scoring the first goal.
The Sharks struggle on the defensive end but must play as a unit in this matchup. If the defensemen communicate more and work with each other, they will limit the Flames’ scoring.
The Flames are the favorites but can improve their chances by drawing penalties and slowing down Erik Karlsson.
The Flames have an average power play unit and convert nearly 20% of their opportunities. This unit will be critical to the Flames’ success today. If they can score a goal, the Flames will win.
Erik Karlsson is the Sharks’ top offensive player and knows how to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. The Flames must slow him down and make him a non-factor in this game.
Erik Karlsson has an insane 75 assists this season. He is a talented passer and has an excellent vision on the ice. He must bring that vision to this game and try to set up his teammates as much as possible.
Tyler Toffoli is having the best season of his career. The winger has 73 points (34 goals, 39 assists) in 81 games. He has been the top player on the Flames and must act like it in this game.
Toffoli does not need to change much in this game. He only needs to produce goals for the Flames.
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What - San Jose Sharks vs Calgary Flames
Where - Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta
When - Wednesday, April 12, 9:30 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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