The 2010 calendar year was full of ups and downs for the Calgary Flames. It’s safe to say that the team is in a much different place at the end of the year than it was the beginning.
It’s probably also uncontroversial to say that the Flames enter 2011 in a much more precarious position than they began 2010.
The Flames began 2010 with a 23-12-5 record, sitting snugly in a playoff position. Then the Flames stumbled, going 17-20-5 in the air-tight Western Conference and tumbled out of the playoffs, finishing in 10th position. The 2010 half of the 2010-2011 season didn’t fare much better, with the Flames posting a 17-18-3 mark prior to ringing in 2011.
Coverage of the Flames by fans and prognosticators alike has commonly decried the team’s lack of goal-scoring. Unsurprisingly, the Flames did not score too many goals in 2010, posting a scant 192 goals. In terms of goals per game, the breakdown is as follows:
- 5 games shutout by opposition
- 12 games scoring one goal
- 10 games scoring two goals
- 8 games scoring three goals
- 8 games scoring four goals or more
In terms of the individual Flames scoring race, captain Jarome Iginla was (as usual) the team’s most prolific goal-scorer, netting 28 goals. The surging Rene Bourque, despite some inconsistency, was close behind with 26 goals. Overall, the breakdown looks like this:
- 28 goals: Jarome Iginla
- 26 goals: Rene Bourque
- 14 goals: Curtis Glencross
- 13 goals: Niklas Hagman
- 12 goals: Olli Jokinen
- 10 goals: Mark Giordano and Alex Tanguay
- 6 goals: Eric Nystrom, Ian White, David Moss
- 5 goals: Daymond Langkow, Matt Stajan, Brendan Morrison, Mikael Backlund
- 4 goals: Jay Bouwmeester, Tim Jackman, Ales Kotalik, Nigel Dawes
- 3 goals: Craig Conroy, Dustin Boyd, Tom Kostopoulos, Jamie Lundmark
- 2 goals: Chris Higgins, Dion Phaneuf, Cory Sarich, Anton Babchuk, Steve Staios, Robyn Regehr
- 1 goal: Jamal Mayers
Obviously, there’s a big gap between Iginla and Bourque and the rest of the team. Similarly, there’s a gap between the 10-14 goal group (the de facto second-line guys) and the rest of the team. Notable, is Mark Giordano as the only defender hanging out with that group. There are also quite a few players that spent significant time in 2010 with another team (noted with italics) — notable among them Alex Tanguay (whose total, pro-rated, would likely be closer to 20) and Eric Nystrom. Daymond Langkow has been out since March with a severe neck injury but would likely have been high on the scoring list had he been healthy.
When overall point totals are tabulated, the gap widens.
- 66 points: Jarome Iginla
- 49 points: Rene Bourque
- 35 points: Matt Stajan
- 33 points: Mark Giordano
- 30 points: Alex Tanguay
- 28 points: Olli Jokinen, Niklas Hagman, Curtis Glencross
- 24 points: Jay Bouwmeester
- 20 points: Brendan Morrison
- 19 points: Mikael Backlund
- 18 points: Ian White
- 13 points: David Moss, Daymond Langkow
- 12 points: Nigel Dawes
- 11 points: Cory Sarich
- 10 points: Robyn Regehr, Eric Nystrom
- 8 points: Tim Jackman
- 7 points: Anton Babchuk
- 6 points: Craig Conroy, Ales Kotalik, Jamal Mayers, Dustin Boyd, Jamie Lundmark
- 5 points: Steve Staios, Dion Phaneuf
- 4 points: Tom Kostopoulos, Adam Pardy
- 3 points: Chris Higgins
- 2 points: Stefan Meyer
- 1 point: Brandon Prust, Brendan Mikkelson, Brett Sutter, Brian McGrattan
Again, a few gaps emerge. Most notably, between Iginla and everyone else. Bourque is easily the best of the rest, and then there’s that big 24-35 point group. Tanguay should be higher, given a full year with Calgary. One would expect Morrison to be higher with a full season as well, but he’s more or less fallen off the face of the Earth points-wise since early November. Once again, beyond the handful of consistent scorers in the 24-35 group, Bourque and Iginla, there’s not a whole lot of offense going on in Cowtown in 2010.
Finally, a snapshot of the dramatic rollover in players from the New Year’s Eve 2009 game to the New Year’s Eve 2010 showdown.
Dec. 31, 2009:
- G: Miikka Kiprusoff, Curtis McElhinney
- D: Dion Phaneuf, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Adam Pardy, Robyn Regehr, Aaron Johnson
- F: Fredrik Sjostrom, Jarome Iginla, Nigel Dawes, Dustin Boyd, Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, Olli Jokinen, Daymond Langkow, Eric Nystrom, Craig Conroy, David Moss, Brandon Prust
Dec. 31, 2010: (players in bold also played in 2009’s New Year’s Eve game)
- G: Miikka Kiprusoff, Henrik Karlsson
- D: Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Cory Sarich, Adam Pardy, Robyn Regehr, Anton Babchuk
- F: Brendan Morrison, Niklas Hagman, Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Tim Jackman, Tom Kostopoulos, Rene Bourque, Matt Stajan, Curtis Glencross, David Moss, Ales Kotalik, Alex Tanguay
Out of 20 possible carry-over players who dressed on New Year’s Eve 2009, only half of them dressed on New Year’s Eve 2010. To be fair, that excludes Cory Sarich, who was injured during 2009’s game but on the roster, and includes Olli Jokinen, who was traded away during the 2009-2010 season but re-signed in the off-season.
In short, there were a great deal of changes for the Calgary Flames during 2010. You can be sure that everyone on the team hopes that 2011 is a much better year, both individually and for the team as a whole.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.