Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Sharks
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate in San Jose!
RAMO VS. NIEMI
The goaltending battle in San Jose will be Finn vs. Finn; Karri Ramo vs. Antii Niemi.
Tonight will be Ramo's second game of the season. He was in net in the Flames season opener in Washington on Oct. 3, making 35 saves on 39 shots in a 5-4 shootout loss the Capitals.
"Karri Ramo has played very well in training camp, played well in Washington," head coach Bob Hartley said after the pre-game skate. "Joey MacDonald got us on a roll and hopefully Karri Ramo can do the same thing as Mac."
PUMPED TO PLAY HIS OLD TEAM
Tonight marks TJ Galiardi's first appearance at the Shark Tank since being dealt to the Flames this summer and the forward is looking forward to squaring off against his former teammates.
"I had a lot of good friendships over there ... one of the boys asked me today who I didn't like on the team and I couldn't think of anyone. I've got good memories there but I'm glad to be here now."
Galiardi played 50 games with the Sharks over the course of two seasons. He scored 6 goals and 15 points as a member of the San Jose organization. In six games with the Flames this year, Galiardi has 1 goal and 3 points.
O'BRIEN PLAYING THROUGH THE PAIN
Shane O'Brien is feeling the effects of an errant puck.
On Friday, the defenceman had a puck deflect off his stick and hit his ear. He immediately dropped to the ice in pain and was helped off the ice. He received 13 stitches - 3 inside the ear and 10 outside - but will be able to play tonight.
"It was a weird spot to get stitches," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "The doc had a tough time getting in there but I guess like with all accidents, it could have been a lot worse. At least it wasn't in my eye or anything like that."
An ear flap is sometimes wore by players suffering from ear maladies but O'Brien is opting not wear one tonight.
"I won't wear anything because anything that touches it really hurts," he explained. "If I get unlucky and it does get touched tonight, it's going to hurt. I've accepted that."
THE OTHER SIDE: MATT PELECH
Former Calgary Flames first round draft pick Matt Pelech has bounced around teams - and leagues - throughout his career but has found a home in San Jose this season. The 26-year-old signed with the Sharks organization in 2011, and has spent most of his time with their AHL affiliate, the Worcester Sharks but has earned a few recalls over the past couple of seasons.
One of those recalls came on Oct. 10 and Pelech, who has moved from defence to right wing, will get to suit up against his former team tonight. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound winger has had his role shift and evolve over the years and now acts as an enforcer for the Sharks. However, he is quick to point out he's more concerned with being a steady, reliable forward that racking up PIM's.
"Being a bigger guy, sticking up for you teammates ... that's something that I've enjoyed doing because you really do care about your teammates.
"I really do try to think about the hockey first and be a player that fights instead of a fighter that goes out there and plays every once and awhile."
During his time with the Flames, he spent quite a bit of time with TJ Brodie and had inkling back then that the rearguard would blossom into the player he is today.
"I remember the first time I saw him play in Penticton. Everybody kind of knew he was going to be a really good player. I was his [defence] partner for a little bit in Abbotsford and I think I was his [defence] partner for one game in Penticton. He was a big-time standout player.
"To see him doing well is great. He's a really good kid."
The Flames have outscored their opponents 9-4 in the first period of the first six games of the year.
VERSUS THE SHARKS
All-time vs. the Sharks: 50-36-8-3
All-time vs. the Sharks in San Jose: 23-20-4-2
Last 10 games vs. the Sharks: 3-5-2
Last 10 games vs. the Sharks in San Jose: 4-5-1
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Mike Cammalleri needs 3 assists for 250.
Kris Russell needs 4 points for 100.
Tim Jackman needs 8 games for 400.
TJ Galiardi needs 10 points for 100.
Hockey Night In Canada! Tonight's game will be aired on CBC at 8:00 PM MST. Sportsnet 960 The FAN will carry the radio broadcast with play-by-play voice Peter Maher and colour analyst Peter Loubardias.