A FORMIDABLE OPPONENT
The Flames will face a tough task tonight against the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks are coming off a tough loss to the Blackhawks and will be hungry.
it is the first meeting this season between the two clubs with the Flames prevailing once in four meetings during the 2010-11 campaign.
The Sharks got off to a slow start this season but as of late have once again emerged as one of the top teams in the league this season.
If they aren't one of the top teams they are certainly one of the hottest. The Sharks are 7-1-1 in their past nine games at the HP Pavillion Arena.
A win tonight would put the Sharks just two points out of first in the Western Conference.
After a handful of high-production games, the top trio of Curtis Glencross, Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen was broken by Bent Sutter last Saturday when the offence against the Kings was struggling.
Newly acquired Michael Cammalleri, Mikael Backlund and Jarome Iginla wound up playing as a unit late in the game versus the Kings while Glencross and Jokinen were joined by speedy winger Blake Comeau.
"Brent has shuffled the lines a bit, we need to get something going on the road where we haven't had as much success" quipped Iginla, "it's just about winning a game. We just need to win this game tonight to get some momentum."
LOOKING FOR ROAD MOMENTUM
The Flames home record has been stellar all season long. The loss to the Kings on Saturday marked the first home setback on nine contests.
The Road record is a different story.
The lengthy road trip the team endured during the World Juniors is one they would rather forget about. After rallying to obtain two points against the Blue Jackets to open up the road swing the Flames failed to find the win column for the remainder of the trip.
Flames captain Jarome Iginla knows that If the Flames want to content for a playoff position they will need to start winning on the road, and soon.
"This is an important road trip for us for sure," said Iginla, "We have three games on the road before the break. San Jose is obviously a good team, they have a lot of energy in this building."
"We have to find a way to be as good on the road as we are at home. It's a matter of narrowing the margin and finding a way to win games."
HANNAN DRAWS BACK IN
Flames veteran rearguard Scott Hannan will return to the line-up tonight after missing the past four games with an upper body injury.
Hannan last played in the 9-0 loss to the Bruins where he recorded just over eight minutes of ice time and was a minus-1 in the contest.
Hannan will bring size and grit to the defence which will be needed against the high powered offence of the Sharks.
In 42 games this season he has a goal and four assists.
Author: Jason Johnson