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Sharks Gameday: Who is Responsible for the Flames' Success?

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Let's take a look at some numbers (kinda) !

nope, not this guy
nope, not this guy
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames have surprised many people in the past year because they've been able to make do with what they have and are currently sitting in the final playoff spot with a five point advantage over the next team. Is it a coincidence, luck, or is there something more?

Many say that this is unsustainable, and are waiting for the Flames to plummet back to the basement of the standings to join their Northern Albertan rival, but I personally think otherwise. The Flames have finally acquired the pieces necessary to become a playoff team again.

Is it the likes of perhaps the best defensive duo in the league, Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie? Nah.

Is it the vastly improved goaltenders, Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo? Nope.

Is it the youngbloods, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan? Not so much.

Proof is in the pudding, baby, and the proof is Brandon Bollig! Overshadowed by the Sharks' John Scott signing, Bollig was probably the second most controversial move during the offseason, because let's be real, what was Chicago thinking when they let him go?

His presence and skill has earned him a roster spot in 43 games this season, and this is no surprise to anyone who has ever watched him play before. He has taken 47 very timely penalty minutes, which most likely prevented many goals that were in the making and also probably sent a message to the other team, or something.

The real story is that he has been an offensive dynamo. This noted playoff goal scorer has three (!) points this season, including his first goal of the season that occurred on Monday evening.

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Now that is a goal! I don't see someone like Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin scoring goals with that much poise. It's all about quality not quantity in the National Hockey League.

Another really cool thing about Brandon Bollig is that he just had a birthday on the 31st of January! Did you know that he shares a birthday with Justin Timberlake? Pretty awesome, IMO. Some would say that Brandon Bollig is the Justin Timberlake of hockey.

While Bollig is obviously not John Scott, and Calgary wasn't smart enough to acquire Scott, at least they were finally able to acquire some talent on that team, and it shows. If Calgary is Cinderella, Brandon Bollig is their missing glass slipper. As long as they keep thugs like Sven Baertschi out of the lineup, this team is playoff bound, baby!

Gameday!

San Jose Sharks @ Calgary Flames

7:00pm PST

It's Actually Shaped Like A Saddle, Dome

CSN-CA

Prediction:

Okay guys, this is bigger than us right now. We need to put aside the bullshit and get real right now. The Kings are sitting in 12th place and it's hilarious, but that means we need teams like Calgary, Vancouver, Minnesota, Dallas and Colorado to be sustainable...heaven help me. My prediction for this evening's game is what we need to happen to keep the hilarity going. Flames win, 2-1 in overtime. Brandon Bollig gets the overtime winner. Lone Sharks goal from Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Setting the Tone:

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Tweet of the Day:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/stace_ofbase">@stace_ofbase</a> &quot;Regular season doesn&#39;t matter&quot; - Dustin Brown watching Game 1 of Ducks/Flames from his couch</p>&mdash; Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) <a href="https://twitter.com/fearthefin/status/562473038554210304">February 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Awful Hockey Tattoo of the Day:

I remember when I got my first prison tattoo