FGD: Winging It With Kipper

Ryan Pike
April 17 2013 12:22PM

We're down to the nitty-gritty, folks, as the Flames (16-22-4) can mathematically be eliminated from the post-season (and get a little closer to a high draft pick) with a loss tonight against the Detroit Red Wings (20-15-7).

Tonight's game starts at 7:30 on TSN and your radio friends at Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The kids will continue to be the item of interest down the stretch, but the top story tonight may be Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff. Suiting up for the 574th time as a Calgary Flame, he may be playing one of his last contests in the Scotiabank Saddledome. Flames coach Bob Hartley noted after practice that Kiprusoff will play tonight and Friday, as well.

THE LINE-UP

Besides Kiprusoff making his first start in awhile, the other big story is the return of Matt Stajan to the Flames line-up. Before his upper-body injury, Stajan was one of Calgary's best, most consistent players. He'll replace Roman Cervenka in the line-up which, all due respect to the Czech player, is probably an upgrade.

Here's how the lines look according to Pat Steinberg:

  • Baertschi - Stajan - Stempniak
  • Glencross - Backlund - Hudler
  • Cammalleri - Horak - Hanowski
  • Begin - Reinhart - Jackman

  • Brodie - Wideman
  • Giordano - Sarich
  • Butler - Carson

  • Kiprusoff

Wunderkind Ben Hanowski has cut his hair, so please remember that he's wearing #58 for your hockey heroes. He joins a few good group of young players with ridiculously high numbers: Sven Baertschi (#47), Roman Horak (#51) and Max “Power” Reinhart (#59) are the others. 

THE OPPOSITION

The Red Wings are a pretty good hockey team and have been for awhile. However, they're in a fight for their playoff lives lately and may actually miss the playoffs for the first time since 1989-90.

However, the Wings have been helping out their own cause lately, going 2-1-2 in their last five and finding ways to get points any which way they can. They most recently blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Sunday night, so they're rested.

Here's how their lines may look:

  • Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Abdelkader
  • Franzen - Filippula - Cleary
  • Nyquist - Andersson - Brunner
  • Miller - Emmerton - Tootoo

  • Kronwall - Ericsson
  • DeKeyser - Kindl
  • White - Smith

  • Howard

The Wings have some strong top-six players. The Flames beat them handily during their last visit to the 'Dome, but that was primarily due to some terrifying defensive zone play and some awful goaltending from Jonas Gustavsson, who won't play tonight.

Detroit's in desperation mode, needing a win to give them breathing room – they're tied with Columbus (at 47 points) with a game in hand, with Dallas just two points back.

SUM IT UP

The Flames are playing for next year. The Wings are playing for the playoffs. The Flames are in audition mode. The Wings are in desperation mode.

On the other hand, the Saddledome will be filled to the brim with emotion, as the fans prepare to possibly say goodbye to #34. If that emotion spills over to the Flames players, this could be quite the hockey game.

 

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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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#101 A
April 17 2013, 09:07PM
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I'll be content losing 2-1

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#102 RexLibris
April 17 2013, 09:08PM
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These next few years will be very interesting to see how Holland and Nill manage the transition.

The Wings exploited a mismatched market for years, and rode exceptional drafting for more than a generation. I'm not certain there will be another deus ex machine for them like Lidstrom this time around. They might have to learn how to live like mortals for a time.

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#103 RexLibris
April 17 2013, 09:10PM
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schevvy wrote:

The one I enjoyed the most were people saying you were Wanye. That was funny

Yeah, where on earth did that come from?

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#104 RexLibris
April 17 2013, 09:12PM
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Oilers are only a Nashville or Tampa win away from the bottom six! It's like sitting at the top of a roller coaster, giggling with excitement over the next hilarious plummet towards the ground.

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#105 Q
April 17 2013, 09:13PM
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Wow, has Brodie ever come a long way! Such a smooth skater! So much more confident! Any thoughts on what his contract will be? Just under 2 a year maybe, and bonuses?

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#106 RKD
April 17 2013, 09:13PM
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Highlight reel, vintage Kipper tonight

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#107 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 09:22PM
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Chances were 6-2 Red Wings in the 2nd.

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#108 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 09:22PM
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@RexLibris

It's astonishing the Oil are still as terrible as they are.

If this was a full 82, Im confident the Oil would be picking inside the top 5 at least, if not the top 3 again.

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#109 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:25PM
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Kent, your prediction of the Flames finishing ahead of the Oilers may still happen, haha

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#110 RexLibris
April 17 2013, 09:26PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yes. Yes it is.

I suspect it would be a top three pick. Really the only think standing between them and another 1st is an injury to Dubnyk, Nugent-Hopkins or Hall. They have no depth outside of right wing.

A friend of mine said a short while ago that he finally felt comfortable that they had reached the point where the management couldn't screw it up (well before the Tambellini firing).

I disagreed. No matter how far off on the shoulder you think you are, there is always more room in the ditch.

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#111 Q
April 17 2013, 09:29PM
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Anyone else agree that the person needing to be fired was Lowe, most of all? They have a ton of young talent. I'm actually surprised Brent Sutter wasn't hired after the world championships. Lowe is in waaaay over his head and they don't have talent because of his ingenuity!

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#112 A
April 17 2013, 09:30PM
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@KENT Any thoughts on what the flames offer Brodie?

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#113 RexLibris
April 17 2013, 09:31PM
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Well, on that happy note, goodnight all. And good luck. Here's hoping the Flames score three more, all disallowed due to arcane technicalities and the Wings get a cheap goal to win it.

Does that sound alright, schev?

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#114 Q
April 17 2013, 09:32PM
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Sorry KENT that last Brodie question was from me Q

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#115 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:36PM
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Hahahaha ha! Yes! No! Conflicted emotions!

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#116 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 09:36PM
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Almost a Steve Smith goal there.

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#117 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 09:36PM
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@A

Im guessing his agent councils him to take 2 to 3 years.

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#118 Baalzamon
April 17 2013, 09:36PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The Staios trade really did it for me. Just nonsense.

That trade... gave me cancer!

Darryl was perhaps the only GM in recent memory worse than Scott Howson (after he went insane, of course). They're the only two GMs I can think of who made teo trades involving the same player and managed to lose both (Jeff Carter for Howson; Jokinen and Prust for Sutter).

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#119 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:37PM
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@RexLibris

I hope the Flames win but then the NHL forfeits the win, so 0 points. I hate this.

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#120 Q
April 17 2013, 09:39PM
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Freakn begin! :(

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#121 clyde
April 17 2013, 09:39PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

It's astonishing the Oil are still as terrible as they are.

If this was a full 82, Im confident the Oil would be picking inside the top 5 at least, if not the top 3 again.

they still may

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#122 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:40PM
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Flames aren't very good at this tanking business. They don't have elite tanking skills like the Oilers.

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#123 clyde
April 17 2013, 09:43PM
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Craig Simpson told me that changes would happen in edm halfway through the year. he said Mac t would be gm and that Lowe wanted to coach. interesting tosee if his second prediction plays out.

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#124 clyde
April 17 2013, 09:45PM
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quit it kipper. I want mckinnon

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#125 mk
April 17 2013, 09:54PM
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Begin....again?!? WHAT?

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#126 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:54PM
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Hahahahahahahaha

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#127 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:55PM
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It's like Howard wants the Flames to win.

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#128 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 09:55PM
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Flames are actually trying to lose and the Wings hand them two consecutive goals in the third in a tie game.

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#129 Q
April 17 2013, 09:56PM
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That guy deserves a 6 year deal ! Wow ....brutal!

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#130 mk
April 17 2013, 09:57PM
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Is it possibly we still make the playoffs? Lol, might happen with the way this "tank" is heading.

More likely a 10th place finish...

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#131 schevvy
April 17 2013, 09:58PM
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Wings have outshot the Flames 26-7 since the 1st. And the Flames are winning. Haha

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#132 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 09:59PM
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@schevvy

Chances are 12-2 DET over the last period or so.

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#133 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:01PM
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Comeau scored for CBJ

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#134 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:02PM
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Thanks Kipper!

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#135 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:03PM
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What a freakin strange period

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#136 RKD
April 17 2013, 10:04PM
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That goal sums up the kinda of season's it's been for Kipper, the Fox guys are brutal. Franzen ended the series a few years back against the Flames, double OT.

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#137 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 10:04PM
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Nice work Kipper. Two more buddy.

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#138 RKD
April 17 2013, 10:07PM
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Other notable goalies beaten from near center ice: Dan Cloutier, Chris Osgood, Vesa Toskala

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#139 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:09PM
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Good for Kipper.

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#140 Kent Wilson
April 17 2013, 10:11PM
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Chances were 9-2 Wings in the third. Amazing the Flames won this one.

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#141 beloch
April 17 2013, 10:11PM
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I have two questions for Kipper:

1. How was the coffee in Forest Lawn?
2. What sound does a Roswell grey make with 6 feet of carbon fiber sticking out of its chest?

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#142 Q
April 17 2013, 10:11PM
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Sick kipper! Just sick!

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#143 A!
April 17 2013, 10:15PM
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Suck! We move up on the Oil and down in the draft! Uggh!

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#144 Q
April 17 2013, 10:19PM
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That was our last win . We're gonna get worked like a thanksgiving turkey now and we draft top5.

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#145 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:22PM
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Updated standings: CGY moves ahead of Carolina, tied with Nashville and Tampa, although Flames have played one fewer game than Nashville and have 1 more ROW than Tampa. Only 1 point behind EDM.

As of right now, top 10 draft would be:

1.Florida 2.Colorado 3.Carolina 4.Nashville 5.Tampa Bay 6.Calgary 7.Edmonton 8.New Jersey 9.Philadelphia 10.Phoenix

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#146 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:25PM
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If any of the mods want to fix up the format of my list...would be much appreciated!

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#147 subz
April 17 2013, 10:26PM
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The top 3 pick is quickly becoming a 5 pick, or higher these other teams step on the ice and roll over. How in the hell is Car, Nsh, TB worse than us...a point behind edm unreal.

If we pick outside top 3 or more specifically no Barkov or Mckinnon I say it sets us back at least year more likely 2.

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#148 Q
April 17 2013, 10:28PM
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Just looking at our schedule vs the lightning, avs, preds, and canes. We're gonna get the second or 3rd pick.

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#149 schevvy
April 17 2013, 10:28PM
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Hypothetical scenario: if Flames finish with #7 pick, do you trade that pick + other two firsts to be able to pick Barkov or MacKinnon

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#150 SadFlamesFan
April 17 2013, 10:28PM
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Wow, the Flames can't even tank properly. This is brutal. Winning games that mean nothing and further hampering the team's ability to get a draft pick that will meaningfully contribute to a rebuild. Loose a few games and guarantee a top four pick for a potential franchise talent for goodness sakes.

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