Posted on April 13, 2008 06:37 PM | Permalink
CALGARY - Through the first two games, the biggest guns have been silent.
Heading into Sunday night's clash between the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks, the lack of offence from Jarome Iginla and Joe Thornton has been noticeable.
In the first two games of the best-of-seven opening-round playoff series - tied at one win apiece - Iginla, star of the Flames, has only a pair of assists. Not exactly the expectations of the 50-goal scorer.
Thornton, who paced the Sharks in scoring in the regular season, has one helper.
"It's not that easy," Sharks head coach Ron Wilson said after the morning skate. "Teams win, it's not the individuals."
He pointed out great goaltending can neutralize high-end players, and it can't be doubted both goalies are among the best in the league.
Thornton, who netted 29 goals and 96 points in the regular season had only four shots on goal in the first two outings, but is more of a passer.
He had only one assist in the four regular-season meetings, but isn't too concerned.
"It's two games," he said with a shrug. "I'd like to be doing better and will be doing better. It's a tight series and a long series."
Iginla has been active and made plenty happen - he has nine shots on goal - so he's not fretting either.
"You just want to help win the game, whatever it is. If it's 1-0 and you get nothing, great," Iginla said. "I don't think it's so much about me scoring. Our power play last game wasn't as good as it should have been, so we've been working on it, talking about it and want it to be better, but it's about everybody being better."
The Sharks don't appear to be planning any lineup changes, but the Flames look like they will.
Based on the morning practice, Iginla will be reunited with Craig Conroy to centre his line with Alex Tanguay, while Daymond Langkow will skate with Kristian Huselius and Owen Nolan.
That moves Matthew Lombardi to a line with Stephane Yelle and Wayne Primeau, which was arguably the team's best unit in the final month of the regular season.
"You never know with Mike, you can take warmups together and in the game be on different lines," Primeau said.
It also appears Marcus Nilson will dress for the first time in the series. He partook in rushes with Eric Nystrom and David Moss, but it's likely Eric Godard will draw in instead of Moss.
Possible San Jose lines
Goalies: Nabokov and Boucher
Injured: D Christian Ehrhoff (undisclosed)
Possible Calgary lines
Goalies: Kiprusoff and Joseph
Injured: D Rhett Warrener (ankle), C Mark Smith (head/neck)
Sharks: RW Devin Setoguchi, LW Marcel Goc, D Alexei Semenov, D Sandis Ozolinsh, LW Tomas Plihal
Flames: C Dustin Boyd, D Anders Eriksson, RW David Moss