Flames News and Notes, March 5 2013

Ryan Pike
March 05 2013 04:16PM

 

 

The Calgary Flames practiced this morning at the 'Dome following the annual poker tournament yesterday. For the record, Curtis Glencross did not win the tournament but was the last Flame standing. Many other news bits were tossed about during the morning.

KIPPER'S RETURN IMMINENT

For the second day, Miikka Kiprusoff practised with the main group. The Flames' all-time leader in wins, games and shutouts has been absent from the line-up since injuring his MCL in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on February 5. The Flames have gone 6-5-2 without their star netminder, but they'd most likely rather have Kiprusoff in net than the revolving door of back-ups.

Danny Taylor skated alone prior to practice and didn't participate with the main group, but coach Bob Hartley noted that he wanted two goaltenders on the ice and it was his call. The Flames noted that Kiprusoff has not been medically cleared to play and that Danny Taylor remains on the roster.

Taylor cleared waivers on February 12 and most likely can be sent down outright without having to clear again, as waivers are usually good for 30 days. That said, I haven't seen the new CBA, so I can't say for certain.

In lighter news, Joey MacDonald cemented his claim to the back-up position with a snazzy new mask, so he can stop wearing his old Red Wings lid.

BACKLUND'S ALMOST BACK, ALRIGHT?

Mikael Backlund practised with the main group as well, indicating some progress has been made with his MCL injury. Backlund went down in Calgary's February 7 win over Columbus.

He's wearing the yellow “please don't hit me” jersey as he hasn't been cleared for contact, but he was working with coaches one-on-one on a lot of stop-start and stick-handing drills. After practice he seemed in good spirits, so it appears he's on his way to a full recovery. If I were a guessing man, which I am, I'd estimate he'd be ready sometime after Calgary's California road trip – which would mean he's about a week or so away.

RAMO ADVANCES IN KHL PLAYOFFS

Karri Ramo posted a 2-0 shutout win for Avangard Omsk in the seventh game of their series with Sibir Novosibirsk, allowing his team to advance to the next round. Ramo had three shutouts in seven games in the series.

Avangard will face Traktor Chelyabinsk in the second round. Traktor beat Barys Astana in the first round, also in seven games. Omsk and Traktor split their two-game regular season series. Top Russian NHL prospect and probable top-5 pick Valery Nichushkin plays for Traktor and had four points in the first round.

 

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#1 beloch
March 05 2013, 05:05PM
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Okay... Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.

MacBackup's SV% is 0.899. He has a played a comparatively large number of NHL games that suggests his ceiling is around 0.903.

Taylor is brand-spanking new to the NHL, except for one period half a decade ago. Two games, and he's 0.912.

One of these players *might* be a NHL starter, or at least a backup of average competence. It isn't MacB, no matter how spiffy his friggin' mask is.

Taylor has upside. Taylor has a better record, albeit a shorter one. MacB is the guy not even the BJ's wanted the last time he was placed on waivers.

Who would you hang onto as Kipper's backup and who would you risk losing on waivers? Yeah, Ramo is killing it, but you don't piss away potential starters when it remains to be seen if Kipper can break 0.900 this season! That's the really scary thing. Kipper was sucking hard before he was injured, and there's absolutely no guarantee he'll go back into vintage-god-mode the moment he returns!

Yeah, I get it. Feaster and Hartley hate Taylor for some reason. However, GM's and coaches who piss on potential and cling to proven mediocrity have no business running a NHL club.

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#2 FireOnIce
March 05 2013, 04:51PM
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"Taylor cleared waivers on February 12 and most likely can be sent down outright without having to clear again, as waivers are usually good for 30 days. That said, I haven't seen the new CBA, so I can't say for certain."

Apparently, neither has Feaster (seen it). My best guess would be that we lose Taylor to CBJ, and all of our 1st rounders for the next decade go to Phoenix as a penalty for trying to do that. Something completely ridiculous, and Feaster will tell us it was the plan the whole time.

Good to see Ramo still tearing it up. 3 SHO in 7 games is none too shabby. I can only assume, however, that in the 3 games they lost, he got lit up 8-0 or something crazy.

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#3 seve927
March 05 2013, 05:16PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

"Taylor cleared waivers on February 12 and most likely can be sent down outright without having to clear again, as waivers are usually good for 30 days. That said, I haven't seen the new CBA, so I can't say for certain."

Apparently, neither has Feaster (seen it). My best guess would be that we lose Taylor to CBJ, and all of our 1st rounders for the next decade go to Phoenix as a penalty for trying to do that. Something completely ridiculous, and Feaster will tell us it was the plan the whole time.

Good to see Ramo still tearing it up. 3 SHO in 7 games is none too shabby. I can only assume, however, that in the 3 games they lost, he got lit up 8-0 or something crazy.

His stat line for the series came out 1.28, .948. He gave up 4 on 17 shots in his worst outing.

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#4 SmellOfVictory
March 05 2013, 05:53PM
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@beloch

Agreed. I'd rather keep Taylor, but nobody wants to be the GM who "screwed up" by giving an unknown a chance while a known commodity, borderline as he is, wanders off. People were already mocking Feaster for going with Taylor/Irving initially when Kipper went down.

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#5 Stockley
March 05 2013, 08:57PM
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Since Ramo won't be released from his KHL contract until late April when the Flames will likely be watching the playoffs from their basements I'd love to see him win it all. A nice confidence boost before he crosses the Atlantic again and shows us once and for all how well KHL stardom translates to the NHL. For all the flak he's taken from some so far; I'm impressed with Cervenka. Now if only Mr. Hartley was impressed with him and would share some of Comeau's ice time with someone with talent. Starting to wonder if Hartley would put Comeau out there 45 minutes a night if Blake's conditioning would allow it. Give him all the chances he needs to prove his 24 goal year wasn't a fluke. Sven and Roman are pulling for him from the bench...

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#6 ChinookArch
March 05 2013, 09:16PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Agreed. I'd rather keep Taylor, but nobody wants to be the GM who "screwed up" by giving an unknown a chance while a known commodity, borderline as he is, wanders off. People were already mocking Feaster for going with Taylor/Irving initially when Kipper went down.

I'm with you guys on this one. I'd like to see Taylor in one more game before Kiprusoff gets back, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Mikka dresses tomorrow night.

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#7 Rockmorton65
March 05 2013, 10:02PM
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Is it possible that the injury Kipper suffered in the Detroit game wasn't a "new" injury, but aggravated an existing one he was playing through? Might explain why he wasn't, ya know, Kipper...

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#8 schevvy
March 05 2013, 10:15PM
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@Rockmorton65

I do think that he aggravated an injury, so definitely I think it might be a reason why his play was so atrocious at the start of the year.

That being said he's not an elite goalie anymore and he's not just going to come in and save the Flames. But I do think he'll be better (though in all honesty he couldn't get much worse.)

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#9 Stockley
March 06 2013, 03:41AM
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schevvy wrote:

I do think that he aggravated an injury, so definitely I think it might be a reason why his play was so atrocious at the start of the year.

That being said he's not an elite goalie anymore and he's not just going to come in and save the Flames. But I do think he'll be better (though in all honesty he couldn't get much worse.)

Taylor played a pretty solid game last time out. His reward is a trip back to Abby for the rest of the season. By most accounts Irving has played solid in Abby since being sent down. His reward is probably going to be watching the rest of the season while Taylor takes his old job back.

MacDonald has pretty pedestrian stats. He might have held the Flames in a few games but he didn't exactly set the world on fire either.

Given how this franchise has been treating all their goalies not named Miika it might be a good idea for Karri Ramo to stay in Europe. Or will he get more chances because he's someone Feaster brought in?

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#10 the-wolf
March 06 2013, 08:11AM
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Ramo's success is all the more reason to gamble on him for next season and move Kipper out.

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#11 Parallex
March 06 2013, 09:23AM
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I really hope Danny Taylor is no where near the organization next year. Seriously we have two young goalies performing very well in their respective leagues (Ortio & Broisset) that we ought to install into the organization... no way in hell do I want want to give Ward even just the option of having one sit for extended periods so that he can trot out some career AHL'ers like Brust or Taylor.

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#12 ChinookArch
March 06 2013, 02:53PM
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@Parallex

That's exactly my point on Taylor. The Flames have a chance (and I grant it's a small chance) to make an asset out of Taylor. Get something, anything back for him.

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#13 Parallex
March 06 2013, 04:54PM
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@ChinookArch

Don't think there would be any takers for him... I think the best you could get would be a AHL guy for AHL trade. Greentree for MacMillion type trade.

I'd rather have he or Irving over MacDonald but the team has made it pretty loud and clear that neither of these guys are in their plans so we may as well just cut bait. Next year is either going to be Kipper & Ramo or Ramo & ???. And I don't think ??? is going to be Taylor.

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