Sharks back home with new faces to take on Flyers
Monday, 02.27.2012 / 9:42 PM
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorFLYERS (34-20-7) at SHARKS (32-22-7)
TV: NBCSN (HD), TSN2, TCN-PH, CSN-CA (HD)
Philadelphia 4-5-1; San Jose 3-6-1
This is the only meeting between the teams this season. In their only meeting last season, the Sharks rallied from a 4-1 third-period deficit to beat the Flyers 5-4 in a shootout in Philadelphia. The teams haven't played in San Jose since Nov. 20, 2009, a 6-3 Sharks win.
Can a return home a few new players straighten out the slumping Sharks? Or will the Flyers -- who have the second-most road wins in the League -- further their slide?
For Paul Holmgren, his trade deadline came about 10 days ago, when he acquired defensemen Nicklas Grossman
and Pavel Kubina
in separate trades 24 hours apart.
So it was a quiet deadline day for the Philadelphia general manager.
"There wasn't anything that was pitched to us that when you put it on the big board that would have made us as good a team as we are now," Holmgren said in a conference call just after the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline on Monday. "We felt more comfortable with our team the way it is."
Holmgren said in the season-long absence of Chris Pronger
, upgrading his defense was his goal as the deadline approached and he feels like he accomplished that.
"A couple weeks ago we thought we lacked something on the back end without Chris and we addressed those issues," said Holmgren.
With losses in six of their last seven games, San Jose General Manager Doug Wilson shook up his lineup, adding gritty forwards TJ Galiardi
and Daniel Winnik
from the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
The biggest impact the pair should have is on the penalty-kill unit. The Sharks entered the week ranked 28th in the League playing a man-down, and they've allowed seven power-play goals in the last seven games.
Winnik was second among Avalanche forwards in shorthanded ice time per game at 3:02, while Galiardi played 1:11 per game shorthanded. The Avs are 16th in the League killing penalties.
"We feel that TJ and Daniel bring some additional size, speed, and penalty-killing ability to our existing group of forwards," Wilson said.
Flyers forward Scott Hartnell
's two goals Saturday against Calgary gave him 30 on the season, tying his single-season NHL high. … Sharks forward Patrick Marleau
has three straight two-point games.
Besides long-term injuries to forward Tom Sestito
(groin) and defenseman Chris Pronger
(concussion), the Flyers are fielding a healthy team. … The Sharks could be without forwards Dominic Moore
(lower body) and Logan Couture
(lower body). Forward Martin Havlat
(hamstring) is out, as is defenseman Douglas Murray
The Sharks have won eight straight against the Flyers, dating to Feb. 16, 2004. San Jose's unbeaten streak against Philadelphia is 12 games -- 10 wins, two ties. The Flyers last beat the Sharks Dec. 21, 2000, and haven't won in San Jose since Nov. 5, 1999.
It was a fitting end to a poor road trip for San Jose. After capping their nine-game, 15-day trip with a 4-3 loss in Minnesota on Sunday, the Sharks had to spend an extra day on the road as mechanical problems with their plane prevented them from heading home.
Not only that, they had to watch their coach, Todd McLellan, get knocked out of the game in the second period after he was hit in the head by the stick of Wild defenseman Marco Scandella.
"I looked and Todd was trying to compose himself and stay upright," said assistant coach Matt Shaw, who took over after McLellan recovered enough to be helped to the locker room for medical observation. "You could tell he was in some obvious discomfort."
McLellan watched the final two periods from the visiting coaches' office and was with the team when it finally flew home Monday. However, he won't be coaching Tuesday's game.