In what will be an ongoing series, I present the first Installment of Stars and Goats!
While some may consider it a difficult task to choose any goats after an opening weekend of 2 and 0, I’m not the most forgiving fan. Sure, Calgary won both games over hated division rivals, but they could have easily lost both if Kipper didn’t stand on his head or if a couple of the bounces went the other way.
Mark Giordano –
If not for a fluke bounce in Edmonton, Giordano would have played as close to a flawless weekend as is possible for a guy making less than $1M. His season opening goal agains the Canucks was a thing of beauty and highlighted his unqiue ability to walk the offensive blueline with aplomb.
Mikka Kiprusoff –
Answered some of the lingering concerns about his decline by being one of the club’s best players through two games. Although two of the goals that beat him were questionable (Burrows for VAN, Gagner for EDM), he made his share of difficult saves and held his team in the game when they were being handily outshot.
The 4th line –
The combination of Prust, Sjostrom and Nystrom is getting a lot of press after spending most of their ice time in the opposition’s end of the ice through 2 games. The trio were perhaps the best forward unit in terms of consistently pressing the attack and establishing a solid cycle this weekend.
Jay Bouwmeester –
An excellent debut for the big free agent signing, Bouwmeester led the club in ice time and added 3 assists and a +3 rating to boot.
Jarome Iginla –
Perhaps the least effective line for the Flames through the first couple of contests was it’s $12M first line, and much of the reason was the indifferent play of the Captain. Iginla spent a lot of time losing puck battles, giving the puck away and generally being outplayed by the other team’s stars. Iggy managed just 1 shot on net in Edmonton and the only reason he has an assist by his name is the Dion Phaneuf empty net goal.
Robyn Regehr –
Reggie’s weekend was the polar opposite of Bouwmeesters: he struggled to handle fast forechecks, he lost puck battles and he made poor reads. He was especially bad on Saturday night, where his lackluster puck retrieval directly led to the Oilers first goal. He’s bound to get better, but it was strange to see the usually consistent shut-down defender have so many problems.
Olli Jokinen –
The other half of the underachieving first unit is the bid, bald Fin. Jokinen has a second assist on a PPG, but nothing else to talk about. In 34 minutes of ice, the $5M center has managed just 2 shots on net, which isn’t enough by any standard, but is really low for a supposed sniper. He and Iginla have to either get their act together or get split up in order for the club to start garnering value out of their giant contracts.