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Morning Skate Report: Flames @ Sharks

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

SAN JOSE, CA -- The Calgary Flames have a sense of what to expect Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks.

After all, they aren’t much different from the Anaheim Ducks team that beat the Flames 3-2 at Honda Center just 24 hours ago.

“They are a lot like Anaheim with big, skilled forwards,” captain Mark Giordano said. “The most important thing is body position, sticks. You have to stay between them and the net. At the same time we want to play them the same way where we try and play in their zone and I think that's where we can take advantage and hopefully get our scoring chances.

“I thought we did a good job with that yesterday in the third but we have to start the game (tonight) with that mentality with taking some risks and trying to create (chances).”

The Flames fell behind the Ducks 3-0 before a late two-goal rally fell short. It was Calgary’s fourth straight game surrendering the opening two goals to the opposition.

But still, there was plenty to draw on from the start that saw the Flames down 1-0 after 20 minutes.

“Right now it seems to be a trend,” Calgary coach Bob Harltey said. “I felt that at home, we had some starts that we could have been much better. Last night, I didn’t mind our start. The first goal goes off Kris Russell and goes in. Can we look at it this morning, being objective and saying like, ‘Wow. That was an awful start?’ When it happens every game, it’s an easy question for [media].

“But at the same time, I thought that our start last night was good. We knew that we were in for a big challenge and I thought that we answered the bell very well.”

It’s easier said than done against an offence that boasts the likes of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns and Logan Couture.

It’s what the Flames are tasked with, though.

“It’s all about offence,” Hartley said. “You look at the Thornton line, you look at the Couture line. You have to be real careful about them and play them very well plus they probably have one of the best defencemen in the League to jump in the play in Brent Burns. He slingshots all over the ice. You wonder sometimes what position he’s playing. He’s so dangerous.”


After missing the past four games due to an upper-body injury, David Jones is expected to draw back into the lineup against the Sharks.

"It's been a little while so I'm just excited to get back in and try to keep going the way I was before I got hurt,” said Jones, who had goals in three straight games prior to getting hurt against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 15. “I just want to bring some energy and play my game.

"I think even before that I was playing good hockey and playing my game, getting pucks to the net. I'm just going to try to continue to do that."

Jones previously missed eight games this season due to an upper body injury. He managed 48 a year ago and has played just 10 of 23 this year.

“You don’t choose to be injured,” Hartley said. “The ideal situation for a coach would be, gosh, I’d still have black hair like you guys. To 20 players, no injuries, no bad performances. Everyone would be happy. We wouldn’t have sit and explain why we’re scratching guys and this and this.

“But that’s our game. It’s a physical game. It’s a fast game. Guys get hit. Guys get twisted around. There’s all kind of situations that happen. We were probably as sad as [Jones] when the injury happened because [Jones] was playing very well for us.”

Jones isn’t looking behind. He’s focused on moving forward.

"I've been injured a lot,” he said. “It's tough to answer because it's nothing I can really control. Play as hard as I can and I play a pretty hard style, I try to take the puck to the net and finish my checks. I didn't really have this issue when I was young so maybe it's the age or something.

“All you can do is just keep playing my game and things happen."


Karri Ramo is expected to start in San Jose, his first since Saturday’s 25-save performance in a 5-4 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils.

And, as Hartley put it, there is plenty of opportunity to earn more.

“We’ve never declared a clear-cut No. 1 because I think we have two No. 1’s,” Hartley said. “That’s a very good problem for us. Obviously, lots of times we’re sitting and we’re debating and everything. But I’d rather have this problem then having goalies that can’t win games for us.

“More than likely, I hope I’m not giving you the line of the day, but I would be very surprised if we declared a clear-cut number one this year.”

Ramo is 4-2-1 this season with a 2.88 goals against average and .898 save percentage.


“That’s our challenge again tonight. We already addressed it. It’s part of our seven-game segments. We want to win playoff rounds. For me, it’s a very simply approach. If we want to be a playoff team, that’s the only approach we have to look at.”

-Hartley on Calgary’s 8-0-1 record when coming off a loss.


Tonight's game will be broadcast on Sportsnet West (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio) at 8:30 PM MT.

@NHLFlames will be live-tweeting the game and providing pre and post-game content. Fans can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #CGYvsSJS.

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