The San Jose Sharks are back home following a short two-game road trip in Western Canada. They swept the series with wins over the Flames and the Oilers in impressive fashion. Impressive in the sense that they lose Tomas Hertl, yet have played better, at least in that small sample size. I wouldn’t read too far into it and start to believe that the Sharks are better without Hertl.
They’re not, but a better effort was certainly exemplified in those two games. For the Sharks there isn’t much to play for now. I think it was clear once Peter DeBoer was fired things weren’t going to get any better in San Jose. Sharks’ fans wanted him gone, but the alternative option of Bob Boughner wasn’t going to signal an improvement, if that’s what they were looking for.
The Sharks will search for a new head coach after the season is over. It would be interesting if Gerard Gallant gets signed by San Jose. DeBoer went over to the Sharks’ rival, Vegas Golden Knights, while it’s possible Gallant goes from Las Vegas to San Jose. It’s all speculation at this juncture, though. If Gallant doesn’t land in San Jose, he will likely get a job elsewhere.
A best-case scenario for the Sharks for the rest of this season is finishing with a record above .500 and building up some confidence for next year. They’re currently at 24-27-4 with 52 points. That doesn’t give them a realistic route to getting into the playoffs. The Canucks are leading the Pacific Division with 65 points, so the Sharks will have to wait to play in the playoffs again.
This is a team that went to the Western Conference Final against the eventual Stanley Cup Champs last season. They also went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16. In other words, it’s been a long fall to the bottom of the Pacific for the Sharks. They will welcome a Flames team tonight who are in the thick of a divisional race. This game may not be important for the Sharks, but it certainly is important for their opponent tonight.
The Flames enter San Jose with a record of 28-22-6 and 62 points puts them three points behind the Canucks for the lead in the Pacific Division. They had a monster win over the Canucks on Saturday night to draw closer. Everything is on the table for the Flames right now. Either finish in the top three in the division, wildcard, or win the Pacific outright. There’s also the chance of missing out completely, so a lot is going on for the Flames. Head below for our free Flames vs. Sharks pick.
Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks Betting Odds:
Flames vs. Sharks Prediction:
The Flames were playing like a team who want to go to the playoffs on Saturday night. They torched the Canucks by a score of 6-2, with six different Flames finding the back of the net. Dillon Dube led the team in points with a goal and 2 assists. The offence has been incredibly hot and cold for the Flames this season. They have scored just 2.66 goals per game for 25th in the league.
However, the Flames have tended to go off some nights like we saw against the Canucks, and do absolutely nothing other nights. There hasn’t been too much consistency. Perhaps the win over the Canucks provides them with plenty of momentum to propel a run. The Sharks have not had the offence working for them this season, so Calgary may not need another 6-goal effort to get the win here.
San Jose is slightly behind the Flames offensively, with an average of 2.6 goals scored per game. It’s obviously been a down season for them after losing Joe Pavelski to the Stars in the offseason. Pavelski was a huge presence not only on the ice but in the locker room. I don’t think many people expected the Sharks to be this out of rhythm, though. They did get Patrick Marleau back to the Sharks, but he’s damaged goods now and isn’t the same contributor he was in the past.
The Sharks may not have needed Hertl against the Oilers and Flames in their most recent meeting Tuesday, though we’ll likely see how much the Sharks miss him soon. The good news is that Logan Couture is nearing a return, but it won’t occur tonight, which is good news for the Flames. In the Sharks’ last ten outings, they’ve managed to score just 2.4 goals per game, and haven’t gotten much of a boost at home offensively. The Sharks have scored 2.79 goals per game at the Shark Tank in 2019-20.
Home ice hasn’t helped them much in the win column as well. The Sharks have a record of only 14-13-1 in San Jose this season. Conversely, the Flames have gone 15-12-2 on the road. I’m banking on the Flames collecting momentum from their big win on Saturday night and carrying it into San Jose in this one. The absence of Hertl on the ice for the Sharks will most likely be felt finally. Calgary looks like the play.