Game Day: Calgary at San Jose - Conference Final #1
Calgarypuck Playoff Coverage 2004

Marc Ciampa
May 9th, 2004

Even the most optimistic of Flames fans would have had a hard time predicting that they would be seeing their team opening the third round of the playoffs on May 9 (CBC/ESPN, 2:00 p.m. MT) among the final four participants in the quest for the Stanley Cup. 

Last round, with a first round victory under their belts Calgary had nothing to lose and all the pressure was on Detroit. This round, however, they are one of four teams remaining who could possibly be left holding the Stanley Cup above their heads in a month’s time. Could this added pressure result in a meltdown along the same lines as the Minnesota Wild last year?  

All season long the Flames and Miikka Kiprusoff have been unflappable so this will be yet another huge test, especially in front of a raucous Shark Tank.  


  • Limit chances: The Sharks showed the most success last series when they were able to get behind the Avalanche defenders for quality scoring chances against David Aebischer. The Flames need to continue limiting those opportunities.
  • Commodore: Mike Commodore is going to have to be used sparingly this round against the faster Sharks. Against Vancouver he was very successful battling in the corners and versus Detroit had moderate success battling in front of the net but San Jose will rush the puck into the zone most of the time so it’ll be difficult for Commodore, who might see the majority of his playing time on the power play.
  • Butterflies: At the start of each of the previous two series the Flames looked tentative. Hopefully with those experiences under their belt they come out looking better today.


Calgary’s penalty kill has struggled in these playoffs as a whole, but it has actually been pretty good of late.  With the exception of a 3-for-6 outing in Detroit with a pair of two-man advantage goals the PK has allowed no goals in 22 opportunities. The power play has struggled, though, with only one goal in the entire Detroit series (1-for-20).


This is the first time Calgary has faced a “one line team” in these playoffs. Vincent Damphousse, Niko Dimitrakos and Patrick Marleau have combined for 13 of San Jose’s 24 goals in the playoffs. The Sharks had a very balanced offence during the regular season, however, and a failure to recognize that could ignite the struggling Nils Ekman who has no goals in these playoffs.


Calgary: Dean McAmmond (back) and Steve Reinprecht (shoulder) are both out for the rest of the season. Denis Gauthier (leg) is out. Matthew Lombardi (concussion) is doubtful for today. Toni Lydman (concussion) could return this series. Chris Simon (leg) is expected to play today.

San Jose: Milan Michalek (knee) and Marco Sturm (ankle/leg) are out for the season. Scott Thornton (lower body) and Scott Parker (hand) could play today.


This is Calgary’s fourth visit to the Conference Finals. In 1981 they lost to the Minnesota North Stars, who later split in half to become the San Jose Sharks, four games to two. In 1986, they defeated the St. Louis Blues four games to three and in 1989, they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks four games to one… The last time these two teams met in a playoff series, the Flames set an NHL record for a seven-game series with 35 goals scored. San Jose scored 26 but won the series four games to three. Few remember that in the second round that year, the Sharks were swept 4-0 and were outscored by the Detroit Red Wings 24-6 in those games… The Calgary Flames were the first team to ever be defeated by the San Jose Sharks. On October 8, 1991 Kelly Kisio scored a power-play goal with 3:15 left in regulation to give San Jose a 4-3 win. The Flames also gave the Sharks their first-ever road win on November 30, 1991 by a score of 2-1.


"The idea that we can't spend enough money to get here, that's a crock. It's how you manage your players, how you draft, how you develop, how you trade, how you coach. We've earned our opportunities by working hard. That's how you get here, and that's how these teams did it."  San Jose head coach Ron Wilson on two unlikely Western Conference Finalists, Flames and Sharks.

“It’s going to be a great series for decibels.'' – Sharks head coach Ron Wilson on the expected loud crowds that will be in both buildings.

"We felt in order for us to grow and get better, our team had to get younger. Making the playoffs is obviously every team's goal, but we had to look at doing what we could do to make the playoffs, to become a playoff team, and not hurt us long-term."  – Flames head coach and GM Darryl Sutter on the plan he set forth as General Manager this past summer.


Season series this year tied 2-2-0-0 

Oct. 11: San Jose 2 at Calgary 3
Dec. 2: San Jose 1 at Ca lgary 3
Jan. 28: Calgary 1 at San Jose 4
Mar. 25: Calgary 2 at San Jose 3

1995 Western Conference Quarter Finals (Sharks win series 4-3)

May 7 San Jose Sharks 5 at Calgary Flames 4
May 9 San Jose Sharks 5 at Calgary Flames 4 (Ulf Dahlen scored at 12:21 of the first overtime)
May 11 Calgary Flames 9 at San Jose Sharks 2
May 13 Calgary Flames 6 at San Jose Sharks 4
May 15 San Jose Sharks 0 at Calgary Flames 5
May 17 Calgary Flames 3 at San Jose Sharks 5
May 19 San Jose Sharks 5 at Calgary Flames 4 (Ray Whitney scored at 1:54 of the second overtime)


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