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Calgary, AB • Canada • 29 Years Old • Male
When the Flames gave up three or more goals, they only won 10 of 37 games; proof that scoring goals was a serious issue for the team. However, despite the inability of the Calgary Flames to put pucks into the opposing net, rarely did they have too many issues with keeping the puck out of their own net. They ranked 5th in the league in ‘goals against per game’ with 2.48; which ranked them 1st amongst non playoff teams. They ranked 7th in the league in shots against per game and they had a goaltender who defied gravity for most of the year.

Miikka Kiprusoff was a Vezina worthy goaltender last season. I know, I can be a little biased but anyone who watched Kipper in any number of games would agree. The Flames unfortunately missed the playoffs though, kyboshing any chance for such a nomination.

He was second, only to Brodeur, in games played this season. Amongst goalies who played more than 60 games he ranked in the top 5 in GAA and top 7 in save percentage. He recorded 35 plus wins for the 5th straight year.

Yet, despite all of this he was unable to carry the Flames into the post-season.

So, what am I getting at? Why now do I bring up this fact mid way through July? The reason is because over the past couple of weeks since the Jokinen/Tanguay deals, people have come up and asked me what I thought of the deals. I re-iterate how I was happy with the Tanguay risk, but then how I almost jumped off my balcony when I heard the sacrilegious concept of Olli Jokinen coming back to the Flames.

However, the thing that I come back to is the fact that Kiprusoff was an All Star last year and the Flames still fell short of playing spring hockey. The simple actuality remains that if he slips just a bit from his form of last year, then the Flames will find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture once again, but much further down the Western Conference ladder.

Reason being is that the Flames have not solved their goal scoring problems; despite what the Dark Lord Sutter has told us. Unless he believes that Tanguay can somehow put up ‘Thornton-esque’ numbers, then the Flames will, once again, be searching for ways to score goals.

Then, of course, it comes back to Miikka. He is the rudder, the sail, and the oars on this fragile vessel. If he breaks, then the Flames will free-fall into the land of obscurity.

I was just checking to see if this scared everyone else like it scares me.

This has been,

Newman on the Flames

Filed Under:   kiprusoff   flames   calgary   nhl   tanguay   jokinen  
July 19, 2010 5:15 PM ET | Delete
I like kiprusoff. However, that is a very valid point. I think it boils down to there D-men. Kipper can make the big saves, but were they getting outshot in the 3rd more?
July 19, 2010 5:19 PM ET | Delete
If Kipper has a 2007 or 2008 season this year...we'll have a lottery draft pick. If he has a 2006 or 2009 season, there might be hope. But you're right, the scoring isn't drastically improved at all. It's gonna be a struggle all year.
July 19, 2010 5:52 PM ET | Delete
I look at leightonand niemi. These goalies are not as good as kipper but have proved they can win just as much. Kipper is a huge part of the team but is having that goalie the answer? In addition having a bonafide back up certainly helps and will hopefully reduce the work load.
July 19, 2010 8:26 PM ET | Delete
As long as Karlsson takes 15 quality starts, he won't. JBo will be inspired, and another year under Sutter will help the team perfect his system. I am hopeful it will be a good season, .920 sv pct and 2.3 GAA would get us in.
July 19, 2010 8:39 PM ET | Delete
This team will have players with lots to prove next year
July 19, 2010 8:40 PM ET | Delete
The beauty of it will be we will be flying low under everyones radar. Perfect storm to over achieve!
July 19, 2010 10:03 PM ET | Delete
July 20, 2010 1:24 AM ET | Delete
Completely agree with the Vezina worthy assessment of Kippers play, he was godly in many of the games I watched. Sane I still believe you need the big time tender. The crazy depth in the stanley cup final is not easy to emulate in the cap world. I still believe this summer should have been the beginning of a rebuiding effort(as much as you can in Canada anyway) for you guys, but the "Us against the world" team might surprise, this is probably the last kick at the can for this group.
July 20, 2010 1:40 AM ET | Delete
I think you're bangon Shorty
July 20, 2010 1:58 AM ET | Delete
I agree with you Shorty as well. The teams in the finals were insanely deep up front and therefore could rely on a sub-par tender.
July 20, 2010 2:13 AM ET | Delete
In a lot of ways I think this will be an interesting time to be a Flames fan. This is Darryl's last go of it I think. The addition of Feaster is a clear sign that it's perform or your done time. The nice thing for you guys is that if the team performs well great if not you'll have Feaster at the wheel for the deadline deals and summer restructuring.
July 20, 2010 2:17 AM ET | Delete
and you have your 1st round pick, not predicting the worst, but nice to have a silver lining if it ends up that way, the Hodgson pick eased the sting a few seasons ago.
July 20, 2010 11:33 AM ET | Delete
Yea, cause we have such a great track record at the draft table... I'm kind of tired of all the burden being placed on Kipper's shoulders to be honest. If he had continued his downward spiral last season from previous years, and hadn't played unbelievably night in and out, Darryl would have been fired, because PHX would have had a lottery pick. Here's to banking on Tanguay and Jokinen. Yah!
July 20, 2010 11:57 AM ET | Delete
It wasn't just the teams in the finals though. The big time goalies: Miller, Broduer, Luongo, Kipper, Lundqvist etc...no where near the final. Does having that goalie mean you can't affrod the depth you need to make the finals?
July 20, 2010 12:49 PM ET | Delete
A valid point Sane, but I don't believe that the salary of your goaltender is the be all end all of cap management. Even with how deep Philly was the Hawks were able to expose the Krajicek/Bartulis pairing in games 5 and 6 and it won them the cup because Leighton couldn't come up with the big save. The only way I would feel comfortable with a low end goalie is if my team was peaking after a lottery pick rebuild, otherwise there's still not going to be enough depth in my opinion.
July 20, 2010 12:56 PM ET | Delete
July 20, 2010 1:06 PM ET | Delete
I hate this site, *insert argument based upon overworking goalies given the rule changes. Unless you're a team with a group of lottery pick players providing the core and cap relief to have insane depth, or being Detroit I think you still need a good to great goaltender.* More importantly I think as this year and into the next roll by we're going to see which teams truly understand the cap, the lines are already starting to form, between the old way of thinking and the new.
July 20, 2010 2:33 PM ET | Delete
Yeah please don't get me wrong, some of kippers saves alone are worth the price of admission for me but I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Savy G.M.'s can find decent goalies but yes over working them is a concern, see colorado.
July 20, 2010 2:41 PM ET | Delete
I think we're seeing the usual "Hey it worked for the cup champs" imitation routine, I have a feeling many teams will regret not factoring in that the Hawks were 4 lines and 3 d pairings deep, Duncan Keith and Hjalmarson probably made more saves than Neimi :)
July 20, 2010 4:42 PM ET | Delete
Not the 1st time 7th
July 20, 2010 4:43 PM ET | Delete
Don't forget, that the Hawks only got a one-year shot with that depth. In a cap era, teams have a very short window of opportunity. There will not be a team in the league in 2011 that will have the depth of this years Blackhawks team. the Flames still have issues that need to be addressed, but trying to create our own version of the 2010 Hawks just isn't possible.
July 20, 2010 4:43 PM ET | Delete
July 20, 2010 4:44 PM ET | Delete
I certainly hope that Darryl has something in the works though... our options continue to shrink as the summer moves on. I guess we can all officially scratch the Gagne and Kovalchuk theories... who's left now?
July 20, 2010 6:57 PM ET | Delete
What the hell spezza or savard or roy?
July 20, 2010 9:29 PM ET | Delete
Fro Loaf is left, lolI think he is done until training camp.
July 21, 2010 2:40 PM ET | Delete
After spezza got that bonus he was untouchable, either he moved at the draft or never. Bergeron is probably easier to get than savard as he's ufa but Boston will want to keep their biog names. Maybe roy but he's there best all around player so the cost would be huge.
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