I smell a breakout for the Calgary Flames at home vs. the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
It seems like a strange prediction. After all, prior to last night’s 3-2 home win vs. the Minnesota Wild, the Flames had not scored in their two previous games at Columbus (a 5-0 loss on 3/26) and at Pittsburgh (a 2-0 loss on 3/25).
Moreover, despite last night’s victory, the Flames have not scored on their last 16 power play opportunities.
So why am I optimistic? For one thing, the Flames have kept the shots coming. Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots; the next night, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason stopped 33 shots; last night, Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom stopped 37 shots, including a whopping 18 of 20 in the first period.
Now here come the Sharks, having lost three straight road games, sauntering into Calgary for a Monday night clash. The last time these teams played in Calgary, on January 6, the Flames won 5-2. Flames RW David Moss tallied one goal and one assist, as did Flames LW Curtis Glencross.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Sharks’ destruction of the Flames 6-1 on November 13 in San Jose — the only other time the teams have played this season. Let us note, though, that Glencross assisted on the lone Flames goal in that contest.
So what can the fantasy owner expect Monday night? I would earmark four Flames for the game: Moss and Glencross, certainly, as well as defenseman Jim Vandermeer, who leads all players in penalty minutes (61) in the last month. I’d also snag center Jamie Lundmark, who has five goals and three assists in his last eight games, not to mention +5 and seven PIMs.
All four Flames are available in more than 93 percent of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. Any member of this quartet will help you maximize your squad’s Monday night output. And remember: Flames-Sharks is one of only three Monday games. The other two — New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers and Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes — are downright drowsy by comparison.