Sharks vs. Flames: Lock San Jose Money Line As Our Sharp NHL Pick

Dana Lane

Thursday, February 11, 2016 1:57 PM GMT

This is a game the Sharks should handle easily. Calgary is a non factor in the playoff race right now. The Flames are falling apart on the ice, and the NHL odds not in their favor.

 

 

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NHL Pick: Sharks -162
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Flames vs. Sharks
Head Coach, Bob Hartley, scratched All-Star Johnny Gaudreau, Lance Bouma, and Sean Monahan for being young and dumb, whatever that means. They all showed up to the Saddledome late on Monday so they were each a healthy scratch and, of course, Calgary went on to beat Toronto.  

It was reported that Gaudreau was ten minutes late last while Bouma and Monahan were 45 minutes late. So what does that mean to bettors?. The first game after a message being sent is the easiest. Everyone is on their best behavior and usually play their best like a kid who is extra good after their sibling was sent to their room.  

The second game is when the suspended guys integrate themselves back into the lockeroom and have to face their teammates. This could have a negative outcome from a team that has little hope of making the payoffs. All three are character guys and it is a closed case according to Head Coach, Bob Hartley. I'm not going to bet them and hope that everyone is on the same page, especially with the Dennis Wideman suspension still loomimg. I'm guessing that some are not happy with their actions which could make for an awkward ride to San Jose. I don't coach the team but I'm not sure I would have handled the situation the same as Hartley.  

The 2-0 win in Chicago looks impressive but I'm not convinced the Sharks are playing their best hockey yet. They have been an extremely strong group up the middle as Joe Thornton (Four points in his last two games) and Logan Couture (3 pts in his last two games) have been fantastic. Patrick Marleau is having a down season but still provides some versatility and leadership. I'm sure the trade rumors are weighing on him as well. Unfortunately, outside of Joe Pavelski, Thornton and Couture haven't had much help on the wing lately.  

I currently have the Sharks ranked ninth in my current power rating. Their ranking has been solidified by their superb by Goaltender, Martin Jones (25-15-3, 2.38 goals against, .915 save percentage) as he seems to be getting stronger. Jones is 2-1 in his last three starts but his goals against average continue to plument as his save percentage increases. Jones had 33 saves in the shutout of Chicago. He's been a little inconsistent over the season but certainly looks locked in now. 

I expect Karri Ramo to start in goal for Calgary. Ramo has been unreliable on a nightly basis. He's one of those guys you cross your fingers for. Considering his recent hot streak we can anticipate that it won't last past San Jose.

Let's not forget the Flames will be without defensemen, Dennis Wideman, who hasn't been great on the ice but does provide vertern leadership. Wideman's hearing lasted seven hours Wednesday in an attempt to reduce his suspension.  I'm interested to see how the combination of Wideman and the recent healthy scratches will affect team moral. 

The Flames haven't been a road play for a very long time and we aren't starting now. In their last 30 road contest the Flames have dropped 22 of them. San Jose is not the place to stop road losing streaks considering the Sharks have won 10 of their last 14 games. The Sharks will be plenty motivated as they have dropped seven of their last 10 against Calgary.  More of a reflection of their inability to get motivated for a bad team. We're backing the Sharks as our NHL pick tonight against the NHL odds.