Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Sharks

Notes from the Flames pre-game skate on Mar. 24, 2014

Monday, 24.03.2014 / 3:46 PM / News
By Andrew Halipchuk
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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Sharks
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate on Mar. 24, 2014

SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS

The 29-35-7 Flames first welcome the San Jose Sharks (46-18-8) to the Scotiabank Saddledome Monday night.

The Flames return home after a quick road trip to Edmonton and back, for a three-game home stand.

Since the Olympic break, the Sharks are 9-2-2 and currently sit 1st in the Pacific division with 100 points, one point up on state rival, Anaheim Ducks.

“They have elite snipers, Couture, Marleau, Pavelski; those guys have such quick releases and are so accurate,” said Flames coach Bob Hartley. “They will make us pay for any mistakes that we’re going to make in our zone.”

Joe Pavelski currently sits tied for 14th in the NHL with 67 points, while Patrick Marleau is fourth in the NHL in shots on goal with 259.

Hartley explained that the big focus for shutting down San Jose’s offence tonight will be controlling the slot on both ends of the ice.

“They are going to pressure us hard,” Hartley said. “The quality of our play in our zone tonight, will dictate the outcome of this game.”

The Flames and Sharks last met January 30, where the Flames skated away with a 4-1 victory. Karri Ramo, who was the first star of that game turning away 27 of 28 shots faced, will be getting the start tonight. This will be Ramo’s first start at home since February 1, where he left the game with a lower body injury.

The Flames have won four of six games at home in the month of March, and nine of their last 12 games.

GOALS ON GOALS ON GOALS

The Flames have scored the most goals in the NHL since the trade deadline on March 5 with 39 goals in 10 games played.

Mike Cammalleri has led the Flames charge with nine goals and 15 points in the 10 games. Mark Giordano leads the team in assists during this stretch with 11 helpers.

“Cammy has be great all year,” Hartley said. “He is a guy who is very proud of himself and his game, who works extremely hard on and off the ice.

“He’s been great playing [wise] and also a great role model in the locker room for our younger players.”

This past weekend, the Flames scored a total of 13 goals over two games, scoring 5 goals in a 6-5 loss to the Nashville Predators, and netting 8 goals against their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers.

“I think it’s a direct result of team play,” Cammalleri said. “As a group we are creating more [opportunities], and getting pucks in the place where we want them to be.

“Guys who I have had the opportunity to play with are playing really well.”

FIRST ROADIE FOR THE ROOKIE

Rookie forward, Kenny Agostino got to experience his first road trip as a member of the Calgary Flames as well as his first Battle of Alberta Saturday night.

“You can tell from the moment you walked into the locker room that it was a big game,” Agostino said. “It’s definitely a heated rivalry and the game was a lot of fun.”

After playing in his first two NHL games, Agostino says that the nerves have settled and he is much more comfortable and confident now.

“The first game was fun and obviously very special,” Agostino said. “That first shift was great.”

Playing on a line with Sean Monahan and Joe Colborne, the 21-year-old had four shots on net in Saturday’s 8-1 win over Edmonton but was unable to register his first NHL point despite playing considerable time in the 3rd period.

“Whenever I get a chance, I’m going to get the puck on net,” Agostino said. “I’d like to finish on those shots, but I felt better and was getting some chances on Saturday.”

RED HOT FLAMES

Giordano has 15 points in his last 12 games, including assists in six of the past seven games.

Cammalleri has 16 points in the past 11 games and is riding a seven-game points streak.

Mikael Backlund has nine points (4+5=9) in the past seven games.

QUOTABLE

“I think that the progression of our young players and the leadership of our veterans are blending in together.” – Bob Hartley on the team starting to come together over the past couple of weeks.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Calgary’s all-time record vs SJS: 51-38-8-1-3

All-time record San Jose at Calgary: 28-16-4-1-1

Last 10 games Calgary vs. San Jose: 4-5-1-0

Last 10 games San Jose at Calgary: 5-3-1-1

BROADCAST INFO

Tonight's game will be broadcast on Sportsnet West (television) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio) at 7:00 PM MST.