CALGARY, AB -- The Scotiabank Saddledome has been a daunting place for opponents over the past six games.
That isn’t a good thing for the San Jose Sharks as they come to Calgary riding a three-game losing streak.
Despite that streak, the Sharks still sit second in the Pacific Division and are 14-12-0 on the year. Although, that record is largely helped by a six-game win streak in November.
Leading the charge for San Jose is veteran centre Joe Pavelski. His 25 points (12g, 13a) are tied for 18th in the NHL. Defenceman Brent Burns (22 points) and forwards Joel Ward (21 points) and Patrick Marleau (19 points) are big reasons for the strong start to the year.
One area to watch in the game is the matchup between Calgary’s young centres and the veteran draw men of the Sharks. Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski have helped San Jose rank third in the NHL with a 52.7 face-off win percentage.
Tuesday’s game marks the first of an Alberta back-to-back for the Sharks. They will head to Edmonton on Wednesday to face the Oilers.
2015 vs. the Flames: 1-0-0
All-Time vs. the Flames: 44-50-5
Vs. the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome: 19-27-2
Notable Injuries: D Marc-Edouard Vlasic, F Logan Couture
Who’s HOT: Joel Ward
After spending four years in Washington, the 35-year-old has found a new home in San Jose. The North York, ON, native is off to a blazing with his new team, recording 10 goals and 11 assists in 26 games. At his current pace, Ward would net 66 points this season, 17 more than his previous career high. He comes into Tuesday’s game having, the 6-foot-1 winger has the hot hands, having registered seven points in his last seven games.
Honourable Mention: Patrick Marleau
In the midst of his 18th NHL season, Marleau is still finding a way to contribute at a high level. In 26 games, he has scored 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points. That total places him fourth on the team and tied for second in goals. Recently, in a win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 36-year old recorded his 1,000th NHL point. That makes him one of six active players with 1,000 or more points.
Who’s NOT: Tommy Wingels
A sixth-round pick in 2008, Wingels has worked is way onto the Sharks second line, alongside Patrick Marleau and Joonas Donskoi. After recording 38 and 36 points the past two season, his eight points in 2015-16 only puts him on pace for 25. To make matters worse, he has a -7 plus/minus rating on the season. At this point, neither end of the ice has been pleasant for Wingels.