POST GAME: Take These Broken Wings



After the Calgary Flames went out with what Kent Wilson described as a medieval attack, only to come up empty handed, on the Chicago Blackhawks, many of us wondered just how they would respond tonight against the Redwings.

One brightspot the Flames have had is the play of Jiri Hudler. After only three NHL games without a Wings’ jersey on his back, he would once again return to the Joe. With the chance to finally get out of town for awhile, the Flames would follow Hudler; taking to road, hoping to find a few answers along the way. 

Despite the undeserved loss to Chicago, this three game road trip presented yet another opportunity. Detroit was coming into this game with Broken Wings, Aside from Hudler changing sides on the field of battle, Detroit was going to be without several regulars, while the Flames would come (ahem) *into this game, relatively healthy.


While it’s never a smart thing to deter away from your team’s game plan, I was curious to see if the Flames were going to try a different approach with Detroit. Calgary has done very well to play the possession game with their opponents, but the Wings are also very good at that, especially when Pavel Datsyuk is on the ice. Could the Flames beat the Wings at their own game, in their own barn?

Just 3:24 into the first a huge weight (or is that wait?) was lifted off the shoulders of both the fans and the Flames captain, as Jarome Iginla netted his first of the season. Iggy loves playing at the Joe, and showed good strength and tenacity as he waited for Alex Tanguay to finish a few nifty moves along the boards before taking the puck in front and sliding it under Jimmy Howard to give Calgary an early 1-0 lead.

At 10:02 the Flames would go on the power play after Jonathan Ericsson would go off for interference against Glencross. With Jiri Hudler breaking into the Wings zone, Kyle Quincy would trip him up, giving Calgary the two man advantage. It wouldn’t take the Flames long to make good on this opportunity. Only 19 sec into the 5 on 3, Mike Cammalleri would calmly settle down a high wobbler from Wideman and then feed it across to Glencross for the open tap in. After the game Glennie had against Chicago, it was good to see him net his fourth on the tic-tac-toe.

Detroit out-shot Calgary 10-9 and out-chanced them 5-3 (4-2 at ES), but the Flames went 1/3 on the PP and were 2/2 on the PK. More importantly, they lead where it most counted; 2-0 on the scoreboard.

In the second period, it appeared for awhile that we were going to see the Flames of yore. Get out to a 2-0 lead and then try and hang on for dear life. At 12:06, Dennis Wideman was flagged for a pretty questionable penalty as Tomas Tatar tried to squeeze his way between Wideman and Brodie. Wideman made his play for the puck and down went Tatar. 31 seconds later Franzen would take a backhand pass from Zetterberg and lift a backhand of his own into the top corner over Kipper’s glove hand. 

Calgary would re-establish the two goal lead when Dennis Wideman would throw a wrister from the blueline with only 24 seconds left in the period. With Howard ill-positioned and screened, the puck found the corner of the net. Matt Stajan was 50% in the face-off circle tonight (12/24), but he won a big one to get the puck back to Wideman with little time on the clock.

Calgary would again be out-shot 10-9 in the second, but they drew even in the scoring chances with the Wings, five each. Calgary was 0/2 on the PP and 1/2 on the PK, but still managed to keep pace on th scoreboard. 3-1 after 2.

Then the unimaginable happened. As the Flames skated onto the ice for the third, something was different, it didn’t look right, something was wrong… Ohhh Noooo!

While the players skated around in their normal ritual, the dude scraping up the crease was NOT Miikka Kiprusoff! Nope, apparently, Kipper was injured somehow in the second. They aren’t saying much, except for the fact that he may have been hurt on a collision with Franzen in the second period. He will be re-evaluated and more will be released by the Flames tomorrow; but for now, #PlayIrv was the hashtag now brought to life from twitter.

The third was a strong period for Calgary. Most expected the Wings to come looking for blood, but the Flames did a fine job of keeping them from getting anything going or generating any significant chances. It was a good to see since the Flames usually, uhhh…. well, suck when they play in front of their back-up tender.

The Wings missed an opportunity to cut the lead in half with their one and only powerplay of the period, the Flames would not miss with theirs. At 15:48, Dan Cleary would go off for holding, and just 10 secoonds later, Mark Giordano would let just an absolute bomb go from the point. Before Joe Louis could finish announcing the penalty to Cleary, it was 4-1 for the Flames.

Shots went 6-5 for the Wings, but the goal by Gio gave the scoring chance edge to Calgary, 3-2. On the night, the Flames may have been out-chanced (12-11) and out-shot (26-23), but they made count what was given to them.

Why the Flames Won…

Because they were the better team tonight, in almost all areas of the game.

When you win the special teams battle with Detroit, your probably going to have a favourable result. They also out-hit a team that was already physically beat up. They balanced out their giveaways, by also having more takeaways… and they blocked more shots that the Wings, which contributed to Irving playing more and more confidently in the third period.

In the end Calgary didn’t have to change the game plan to beat Detroit, because they just played it better and cleaner than Detroit could. The number one line showed up tonight and Calgary was able to keep the power-play rolling. Guys like Iggy and Gio finally getting their first goals, keeps a team ignited and on their toes.


I’m going with Cammalleri tonight. After being maligned for the first six games of the season, Mike had a solid all-around game tonight.

He assisted on both Iggy’s and Glencross’ goals in the first, but he also played well on the other side of the puck. In 15:53 minutes of ice-time, he had two hits, two blocked shots and was 50% in the face-off circle.

All in all, it was a pretty consistent effort tonight from a man that just tempts fate when you wear the number 13.

Sum It Up

The Flames got almost exactly what they needed from tonights game. They got scoring and they played consistantly for 60 minutes. Though we don’t know the full story on Kiprusoff yet, there is obviously cause for concern here.

If the injury is nothing more than a bruised or twisted knee, then there might not be much reason to panic. If the injury is one that looks to be long-term, then the Flames are going to have to make some tough decisions.

Many people on twitter are already contemplating who the Flames will sign tomorrow; Brust or Taylor? I think that is jumping the gun a little. The Flames are not going to be keen on burning a contract on another goalie. If this is a short term set back for Kiprusoff, then I would be more apt to seeing Calgary potentially calling up Laurent Broissot from the Edmonton Oil Kings to pull bench duty, while Irving starts in Columbus and maybe even Vancouver (Remember Dec 23rd last year??)

If the injury is worse and Kipper’s time away is an extended one, then the Flames hand just might be forced into other alternatives, like Brust or Taylor. Which they choose is beyond me, but I tend to think that Book of Loob is already on a plane to Abbotsford to help Barry pack.

  • Colin.S

    “The Flames are not going to be keen on burning a contract on another goalie. If this is a short term set back for Kiprusoff, then I would be more apt to seeing Calgary potentially calling up Laurent Broissot from the Edmonton Oil Kings”

    … that’s still burning a contract on another goalie. Yes, it’s one who they’re going to have to sign at the end of the season anyway, but he’s also a player who isn’t anywhere near coming close to even being considered to be inside the ballpark of being NHL ready.

    • Stockley

      If they signed Broissoit to an amateur tryout and called him up on an emergency basis does it count towards the 50 contract maximum after he’s sent back down? I was under the impression once those contracts are over, they’re over. So many ins and outs on all this crap that I’m sure you could fill books with what I don’t know…

  • loudogYYC

    Hartley’s next challenge is to cure that damn habit this team has of pooing the bed the game after a big win. Columbus is definitely beatable, but they also scored 4 goals on Detroit a few days ago.

    Nice to see Gio and Iggy step it up while everyone else maintained their level.

  • Stockley

    It’s not likely possible to for whoever replaces Kipper in the next few games (or longer) to play any worse. Mikka Kiprusoff’s even strength save percentage is well below replacement level so far this season. Holding aside last year’s performance, his stats have been pretty bad for a while. Whoever comes in probably can’t fare any worse. An average NHL goalie would actually be an improvement.

    What worries me is the tendency the team has had for the past 5 years or so to hang the backup goalie out to dry. For whatever reason, the team doesn’t seem to play with the same level of intensity in front of the Backup Du Jour than it does in front of Kipper. That didn’t seem to be the case in the third period last night so hopefully Hartley has found a way to put a stop to that.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      It will be an interesting test of will and watch the Flames play in front of another goalie for a series of games. Hopefully, last night’s 3rd period is a predictor of how they play, in front of Irving. It’s clear to me that Irving has the job to loose for now (obviously notwithstanding Kipprusoff’s return). With any luck Irving performs well, improves his own value and becomes trade-bait. That is of course, if another goalie takes the #2 job away from him.

  • Subversive

    I was only able to watch the 3rd period last night, and while it was certainly nice to see the boys hold a lead and Irving look competent, I wasn’t all that impressed by their play. The passes were not crisp at all, there was tons of fumbling with the puck, and they basically looked a lot less confident with the puck all period. Maybe the ice was just crappy, because Detroit certainly had a few pucks bounce over sticks too, but it really seemed like Calgary was fighting the puck all period. They did do a pretty good job of keeping chances to a minimum, so I’ll give them that.

    Anyway, nice to see them get results.

    The other thing I will say about this team, maybe my favourite thing about them so far, is that they don’t seem to have as many (any?) “infuriating” players. I’m thinking of players like Dion, Sparklepants, Sex Panther, and others. Players who just seem to have no hockey sense at all and constantly make dumb plays. I’d say the closest guys they have to that type of player so far this year are Widemen and Comeau, but neither of them are at the level of the past.

  • Stockley

    Two things I noticed last night..

    1)Flames did a good job in the third of protecting Irving (and the lead), they were more defensive, often had as much as four guys around the crease…

    2)I like how Irving was playing it safe, not doing anything crazy, if caught the puck, he held on to it right away for a whistle..

  • If Kipper is out for any length of time the team has to make a move. I would have no problem moving draft picks and/or prospects to ensure we get the veteran goaltending we need to maintain the momentum from last nights win. This team is about to go on a huge roll. Also, I heard Feaster is working on an extension for Iggy. Now we’re talking. Lock this group up because you won’t find many deeper lineups than this. Playoffs for sure.

  • schevvy

    For Broissoit, I’m guessing that he can come up on an ATO for 5 games (equal to 9 in 82 game season), similar to what Sven did last year. Do not think that burns a contract.

  • icedawg_42

    Go get a free agent goalie. It’s obvious Kipper has bee sub par anyway so far. I don’t think the team needs an elite replacement right now – but I think 2 words scream at me: Adequate and Veteran. Strikes me, that if Kipper actually left the game then Im not sure he’d be back in 5 games.

    Part of me would like to see Danny Taylor get a shot on a 2 way deal – but this is not the right situation for that. None of Taylor, Brust, Irving or ESPECIALLY Broissoit should be asked to carry the load as an NHL starter at this point of their careers. To me, if this injury is going to last any more than 2 or 3 games, they HAVE to go looking for a vet free agent for the balance of the season. Remember Cujo? He did a fine job.

      • icedawg_42

        I don’t know that anyone in the Flames system is ‘NHL Level replacement’ – see my comments re: Taylor/Brust. It’s a big difference between the NHL and AHL – as we’ve seen with Irving, McLennan etc. And as far as trade – well…go for it, depending on the price. I just know how some people around here are when it comes to trading picks.

          • icedawg_42

            Yup – I’m well aware of both guys stats, and I’m quite impressed with them – moreover, I’m fully behind giving Taylor or Brust a shot at the big league, like I said before.

            Frankly, I thought it would have been a better idea to sign one of them to a 2 way deal at the beginning of the season rather than go with Irving as the backup – BUT to throw them to the wolves as an NHL starter in a shortened season? When the Flames are already coming from behind to find a playoff spot?

            If you just want to get a good look at them as NHL’ers, and you’re in the “Tank and go for a top 5 pick” camp, then sure, but otherwise…I’ll repeat that I don’t think that’s the right situation.

            If that’s the course of action they pursue, then I hope you’re right, and they come in and steal the show.

          • Subversive

            I am not in the ‘tank and go for a top 5 pick’ camp, especially not given how well they’ve been playing. They look to me, goaltending notwithstanding, like a team that is good enough to be solidly in the playoffs.

            I feel like either of those two AHL goalies are likely to be better than Kipper has been to this point. If the team continues to play as well as it has, league average goaltending should get them into the playoffs.

          • icedawg_42

            I completely agree with your first point, and that average NHL goaltending should get them there – Im just very leery of the thought of throwing an AHL’er into this pressure cooker and expecting NHL average goaltending.

            I suppose some guys thrive on that kind of pressure, but it still sends shivers up my spine. We’ll have to wait and see I guess. And of the two, Taylor would also be my pick.

          • Subversive

            I’m not saying it’s ideal. Ideal would be Kipper posting a .920 save percentage and staying healthy. But I think using either of these two goalies is a better option than trading assets or picks or trying to find a free agent goalie who is likely out of shape.

        • seve927

          Like I’ve always said with goalies, it’s 90% between the ears. Irving doesn’t seem to be able to keep it together. Even if he does well for a couple games, I wouldn’t count on him long term. I’d much rather see Taylor. He’s earned a shot. I can’t argue that there’s a big difference between the AHL and NHL, but not in terms of playing goal as far as I’m concerned. Goalies rise out obscurity all the time. Just out of situations like this. Taylor seems like the prime candidate.

    • Danger

      There is nothing out there for vets in Goal.

      To think any of these goalies kept in game shape during the lockout would be wishful thinking.

      Roloson, Conklin, Caron, B Johnson, Grahame.

      Hasek and Brathwaite were talking about comebacks in August, but again, not really great options.

      As for a trade, you can either go two ways, goalie for the future ex. Bernier or for this year only – on an expiring contract ex Theodore or Leighton.

      I honestly would think long term if you go the trade route. The team is high on Ramo right now, but there is no guarantee he translates the KHL success over to the NHL. If it doesn’t then expect the team to struggle for a few years.

      Lets hope Kipper isn’t hurt and none of this matters. Emergency recall if needed for a week, and let this team stick with the plan they have in place.

  • icedawg_42

    organizational honesty states you must reward danny taylor with a call up. from a trade perspective, feasta is over a barrell. not a pretty image at the best of times. maybe kippa forgot to take his bic lighter out of his equipment after his 3 smoke intermission and landed heavily on the firestarter.

  • Parallex

    Another thing to consider is that the KHL playoffs start soon… so there exists the possibility that Ramo might be available sooner then next season. If kipper is out for a while and if I’m the Flames then I’m probably more inclined to ride ATO/PTO contracts on Brossoit, Taylor, and Brust in succession and then try to sign Ramo once Omsk is out of the playoffs. Seems to me that this is a preferable option to burning assets on a surplus back-up goalie and removing contracting flexability for the rest of the year.

    • Danger

      My thoughts exactly, although I’d be careful not to throw Brossoit to the wolves too much, maybe call him up for a couple of games against teams like Columbus or Dallas. Not that those are sure wins or anything, just that he’s less likely to get completely lit up in those contests.

    • Vintage Flame

      Another thing to consider is that the KHL playoffs start soon… so there exists the possibility that Ramo might be available sooner then next season.

      KHL season ends Feb 26th. then of course it all depends how deep Omsk goes into the playoffs. That could be a potentially long time trying to ride out PTO’s on those three.

  • Vintage Flame

    I’m not sure Ramo is going to be a viable solution here, not in the short term anyways.

    The Flames have 10 games before the KHL regular season ends. assuming the Flames go the full 5 with Taylor, Brust and Broissot, there’s 15 games.

    Assuming say Irving plays another 5, you have a 10 game window for Omsk to be eliminated, get Ramo over here and then sign him.

    If Kipper’s injury is long term, I think you see the Flames most likely sign Taylor.

  • Vintage Flame

    To give up picks & any of the few quality prospects for a goalie on a team everyone is projecting to bubble is nuts. Irving held his own last night & its time to see whats on the farm. If we dont have the confidence to bring up any of the two goalies of our farm team in the AHL, then what in God’s name are we having these players on the farm team for? I would rather burn one of our contracts than give up any picks or assets when options are but an ocean away in the very near future. This short season is literally a win/win for the Flames, lose & we will win at the draft. & win, means one of our young goalies in our system has stepped up and answered a question we have agonized for years. Stay the course, this team will have to play that much better in front of a rookie goalie, I can think of worse things.

    • Captain Ron

      My sentiments exactly. Why all this trade for a goalie talk. Lets see what Taylor is all about if he has to make a start or come in to a game in relief. If he fails then OH well we have other potential goalie options in the works. If he looks good his value then goes up. Unless Irving is terrible he probably doesn’t get a start though. This is Irvings opportunity to show he can play in the NHL and win. He can’t ask for more than that right now.

  • everton fc

    Just watched Begin’s scrap w/Tootoo. People hate Tootoo, but he can scrap with the best of them, other than the tall tress, which isn’t his role.

    Begin doesn’t have the hand speed Tootoo has… But he did well last night. Earns a pat on the back from me. Seems to be keeping Jackman in the press box these days…

  • everton fc

    I actually thought it was probably the Flames worst game of the year. Puck was just bouncing better for them. Mistakes they made tonight weren’t influenced by bad luck, they were just bad plays. And Detroit looked very poor, they didn’t make them pay for their mistakes. If last night was a true indication, I do not see that team making the playoffs.

    I didn’t really think anyone stood out in a positive way. Last year this would have been a great game. This year it’s an average to below average performance in my books.

  • Danger

    Damien Brunner is quite the player. Just thought I’d mention that.


    That was similar to my read, though the Flames were sloppier defensively against the Ducks. I didn’t think the Flames played poorly last night, but they certainly didn’t carry the play. Score effects might have had something to do with it, since Iginla put the Flames ahead fairly early.