This is something to which I could become accustomed.
Oh my god what a night from Jarome Iginla. He was dominant. And we’re not talking dominant relative to the game, we’re talking Iginla-last-year dominant.
After a pretty mediocre first 30 minutes, Iginla offered his back to the team and said, “Climb aboard, gents, I’ll take it from here.” And instead of coming up well short when trying to take over a game as he has for the past few weeks, he provided the Flames with more than enough offensive flair and defensive pop to carry them to an alarmingly easy win that, just 10 minutes before, had looked like it would be anything but.
Now granted, you never like to see a team play as poorly at home against an opponent that is merely goodish as the Calgary did in the first half of the game, but because Iginla had scored 45 seconds in, there was never that usual version of the Flames where they all start panicking because, “OH NO WE ARE DOWN BY A GOAL WHATEVER WILL WE DO,” and just try ridiculous garbage to see if somehow it works. (And that attitude of throwing something at the wall to see if it sticks had plagued the Flames a lot prior to this little 6-0-2 run.)
The larger picture, of course, is that Jarome Iginla seems to finally be Jarome Iginla again, and that’s fantastic, because about a week and a half ago, Miikka Kiprusoff started playing like Miikka Kiprusoff again. Now if Mike Keenan can get Dion Phaneuf to start being Dion Phaneuf this close to the playoffs.. wuh oh, Western Conference. That’d be bad news.
- Jarome Iginla. Two goals, two assists. Yes, I could get used to this.
- Mike Cammalleri’s back too. A goal and two assists for him after going three games without a point. It was also Cammy’s 30th goal of the year. Kings fans LAUGHED when I called him a “sure-thing 30-goal guy.” WELL WHO’S LAUGHIN’ NOW, JERKO? Oh, right. It’s me.
- Miikka Kiprusoff has really been the foundation for this little run. Just outstanding work once again, especially in the opening 30 when Columbus had a very good chance of pulling way ahead of a listless opponent. Won’t go so far as to say he stole the game, but he was certainly the only reason the Flames were in it.
- I thought Jim Vandermeer quietly had a very good game last night.
- Craig Conroy had another two assists, bumping his season point total to 33, one short of his numer in 79 games last year. That’s good to see, mainly because I personally like Conroy a lot.
- The Flames went 1 for 2 on the power play, and even though they only had one shot, it went in. Good job getting bodies to the front of the net on that play too. Can’t recall who put their ass in Steve Mason’s face, but he never saw Phaneuf’s rocket from the point. (And boy does that last sentence sound gross.)
- Speaking of which, Phaneuf was not outwardly terrible last night. He had a power play goal and finished the game plus-1. This is progress, however small.
- Again, that opening 30. They allowed far too many chances, especially to Kristian Huselius, who was rather unlucky to have a puck roll off his stick on a breakaway. And the Rick Nash-to-Huselius cross-ice saucer pass play that Kiprusoff stopped (thankfully) was just gorgeous.
- Kyle Greentree was the only Flame that was a minus player. He only got 5:12 of ice time too.
- Nothin’ at all. Solid overall game outta the boys, I thought.