Antti Niemi

Sharks hope to re-gain road groove


The San Jose Sharks have averaged about 50 road points per season under coach Todd McLellan, according to The Mercury News’ David Pollak. That might not sound like much, but it’s one of the tendencies that’s helped the Sharks distinguish themselves as one of the league’s best regular season teams.

With a 1-3-1 mark in their current road trip and a 2-6-2 record in their last 10 away games, Pollak wonders if their relative road warrior status is in jeopardy.

“We’re not that far off, but we’re off,” McLellan said. “We now look at the overall road game – Are we using our minutes properly? Do we create momentum? Do we keep it? Are we bearing down in situations that are essential – whether it’s offensively or defensively?

“I think there are a number of players who can do a better job in that area and can do a better job. That’s the trick, to get them to do it. We’ll keep pushing.”

The Sharks might upgrade the situation from a slight concern to a significant annoyance if they lose tonight against the lowly Blue Jackets in Columbus. After that, they’ll play the last three road games of this nine-game trip* before rotating four-game spans (home, then road) before playing six out of seven contests at the Shark Tank in mid-March.

San Jose’s in a solid position to win the Pacific Division, but getting their away act together would just about clinch it.

* – Those away contests are against Toronto (Thursday), Nashville (Saturday) and Minnesota (Sunday).

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin

The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.