February 06 2013 10:08AM
As no doubt everyone knows by now, Miikka Kiprusoff did not play the third period of the Red Wing game last night due to "lower body" injury. The extent of his malady is currently unknown, although apparently he isn't going to dress for practice this morning so the problem is a bit more than a bruise.
This obviously presents a problem for Calgary. Kipper has been the franchise's workhorse since he took the reins from Roman Turek in 2003. The last time he was injured was that very season and since the lock-out, no other goaltender has played more games. In addition, the Flames currently have no other readily available puck stopper with an NHL deal aside from Leland Irving - Joni Ortio is on loan in Finland and his team's primary puck stopper - he's not likely to make a trip across the pond to dress as a back-up to Irving. Prospects Laurent Brossoit and Jon Gillies are having good seasons, but aren't inked to entry-level deals yet. Barry Brust and danny Taylor are the best goaltending duo in the AHL, but both are on minor-league contracts only. Karri Ramo, the current heir apparent for Kiprusoff, is Flames property but doesn't have a contract with the club. He's also the starter for one of the KHL's top teams.
February 05 2013 10:28AM
We're only about half way through Hartley's first 10-game segment as the Flames coach so we're limited in how much we can read into his bench management so far. That said, a few things seem to be emerging in the early going as mentioned yesterday, so let's dive in and see how each guy has been deployed and how he has fared in that role.
February 04 2013 10:56AM
After Calgary's gut punch shoot-out loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night, the team sits last in the Western Conference with just four points in six games. Despite playing five of their six first games at home, Calgary has won just once in regulation and sports a goal differential of -8, good for second worst in the West ahead of only the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Flames early going struggles seem to validate fans worst fears heading into the season: that the summer additions were needless and the club is doomed to inexorably spiral into irrelevance and obsolesce before inevitably having to blow it all up and start anew.
February 02 2013 02:51PM
A lot of consternation in Flamesland after the 6-3 loss to the Avs on Thursday, but from my angle the team has exceeded expectations from many angles through the early going. The results aren't there and the goaltending has been *ahem* questionable, but the club has made a habit of outchancing and outshooting their opponents so far. With a few different bounces and an NHL-average Kipper, the Flames have a much better set of W-L numbers heading into tonight.
January 31 2013 11:02AM
When Calgary signed Dennis Wideman in the off-season, it resulted in a lot of buzz around a potential Jay Bouwmeester trade. Not only because JayBo is much maligned for not being worth his contract since arriving, but also because it meant the Flames had a lot of defensemen.
With the addition of Wideman, the retention of Sarich and the promotion of TJ Brodie, Calgary has no less than 9 NHL ready bodies, eight of whom also boast one way contracts. Brett Carson is one of them and currently plying his trade for Abbotsford, but with the news that Anton Babchuk is rapidly nearing a return, the club is facing the possibility of having 8 NHLers on the parent club.