While the majority of interest around the Calgary Flames right now is trade speculation, primarily regarding the future of captain and franchise scoring leader Jarome Iginla, there are other intriguing facets about the team that aren’t often discussed due to the Iginla speculation. Below are a few of those points, including some thoughts on the controversial Iginla situation.
- While Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues may have extended the Flames’ home winning streak to seven games, their woeful 0-3 road trip last week extended their futile road streak to nine consecutive losses away from the Saddledome. Calgary has yet to register a road win in the month of March, last being able to take a full two points on the road February 17th against the Dallas Stars.
- During that 9-game road losing streak, the Flames have found themselves outscored 38-15, shut out twice, and losing by two or more goals six times. Opponents have been able to score four or more goals seven times. The streak has garnered the Flames a single point out of a possible 18.
- According to various reputable sources, Jarome Iginla has supplied General Manager Jay Feaster with a list of four teams that he is willing to be traded to: Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. With Pittsburgh’s acquisition of Stars captain Brenden Morrow, another aged power forward, earlier today it is unlikely that Iginla will find himself in a Penguins sweater flanking Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
- While Calgary certainly was happy to snap a three-game losing skid by beating the Blues on Sunday, winger Lee Stempniak unfortunately saw his point-scoring streak snapped at 5 games. The streak quietly produced 1 goal and 6 assists.
- The win over the Blues was certainly a much needed morale boost, and vintage heroics from Iginla and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff likely made it that much sweeter. Kiprusoff was sensational and stole the game for the Flames, as his evening was much busier than Jaroslav Halaks’ was in the Blues net. Kiprusoff stopped 36 of the 38 shots that the Blues directed towards the net, including a fantastic skate save on a T.J. Oshie deflection, while Halak allowed the Flames to score 3 goals on just 17 shots. Iginla himself scored the decisive marker, receiving a long Alex Tanguay pass up ice and then almost splitting the defence. The captain managed to squeeze it past Halak despite a great desperation dive by Wade Redden.
- In his 6 wins this season, Kiprusoff has a save percentage of .919. In the 9 games in which he was unable to earn a win and lost in
either regulation, overtime, or a shootout, Kiprusoff’s save percentage plummets to a lowly .824. While team defence certainly plays a role in any goaltender’s individual stats, it is important to note that Kiprusoff had a save percentage higher than .900 just once in those 9 losses- a .944 in an overtime loss to Vancouver. If the Flames are going to win some games to close out their season, they need Kiprusoff to play like a winner.
- While there are certainly indicators that first-time NHLer Roman Cervenka is having some difficulty adjusting to the North American league, his skill set was on full display when he potted two beautiful goals Sunday. While the production could certainly improve, the Flames’ line of Cervenka, Matt Stajan, and Jiri Hudler is often the most electric trio and the most skilled on the roster.
- Jay Bouwmeester has 6 goals on the season this year in just 30 games. Even though there is still significant time left in the regular season, this marks Bouwmeester’s best goal-scoring season in Calgary. In his first three seasons as a Flame, he registered 3, 4, and 5 goals respectively.
Having just received a Bachelor of Arts in History (with a concentration in Canadian History) from the University of Calgary, Thomas Strangward is pursuing his passion of sports journalism and has recently accepted a seat in the renowned Radio, Television, and Broadcast News Program at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta.