Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,
Not surprisingly, the Calgary Flames have placed Anders Eriksson on re-entry waivers in an attempt to bolster their injury-battered defence.
The question remains whether another team will put in a claim just to deny the Flames his services in the first round against Chicago.
Coach Mike Keenan said last week that such a move would violate the unwritten code among NHL executives, but anything is possible.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
They’ve won only one of their last six games away from the Saddledome, were shutout three times and scored a grand total of four goals in those games.
Add the way Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has dominated the Flames—a 22-5-2 career mark, plus the seven-game series win for Tampa Bay in the 2004 Stanley Cup final—and the Flames’ putrid powerplay that’s been blanked the last 10 games (and on a zero-for-43 skid), it’s easy to write off Calgary.
“The pressure will be on them,” said centre Craig Conroy, trotting out the ‘us-against-the-world’ matra you’ll hear many times in the coming days. “Everybody is expecting them to win, and has kinda written us off a bit.
“That’s OK. That was the regular season and now things start fresh.”
from Allan of the Globe and Mail,
...But the optimistic captain of the Flames sees something else: His best shot yet to win a Stanley Cup.
Seriously. Iginla said that. Even after all the recent setbacks – the losses, injuries, a power play that hasn’t scored since Hakan Loob played here – Iginla has gone on record to say that facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the postseason is “a good matchup for us” and that the Flames will persevere in the end.
“Do I still believe this is my best chance to win the Cup? Absolutely,” he confirmed.
This is what captains say in the darkest hours, and make no mistake, there hasn’t been a lot of sunshine around the Flames lately. Soon after Calgary ended its regular season Saturday night with a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, several players offered a battle cry that sounded bleak yet hopeful at the same time. “We’ve been bad against Chicago,” the players said. “We can’t be any worse.”
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
So much for a mellow Mike Keenan.
Without naming names, the Calgary Flames head coach lambasted his stars Friday after a dismal 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in a game that meant nothing—absolutely nothing—to the hosts.
“I expected more out of our best players,” Iron Mike snarled in the bowels of Rexall Place. “We were missing the net or we weren’t bearing down and we didn’t have the instinct to bury it.”
Indeed. The Flames missed the net 29 times compared to eight wayward shots for Edmonton.
“They’ve got to come out with a lot more determination about that part of their game, Keenan snapped.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Jarome Iginla is as nice a person you’ll meet.
But the Calgary Flames captain sure can be greedy at times.
Asked whether it was more important to go into the playoffs firing on all cylinders or having won the division title, Iginla’s choice was both.
“I don’t think it’s all just about the division, but playing our best would probably lead to winning our division,” he said. “I think our game’s improved as a team the last 10 days and going in the right direction, which I think is the most important thing.
“But (the division title) is in our hands. We don’t have to watch Vancouver. It’s two games and we can win the division.
“I think they go hand-in-hand and we want both.”
Flames forward David Moss has signed a multi-year deal with the team.
The Michigan native has 20 goals and 18 assists this season.
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated:
The end is plainly in sight even if, with just days remaining, we don’t yet know all of the teams that will join the second leg of the biathlon. But before we say goodbye to a marathon regular season that needed nearly all of its 1,230 games to eliminate slightly less than half the teams that thought they had a shot at the playoffs, a few items deserve your upright attention:
Let’s start with the Calgary Flames, the franchise that most American hockey fans know only as the first family of hockey failure in Atlanta.
The Flames have been playing shorthanded for several games, including a crucial loss earlier this week to the surging Canucks that may have decided first place in the Northwest Division. Now, there are a number of reasons why that can happen. Penalties incurred during a contest is the one that comes most readily to mind, but there can be injuries or a called-up player not getting to the arena on time.
The Flames are shorthanded simply because they are out of money.
continued… with thoughts on several teams
from TSN, Every week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.
Among the big late season acquisitions, who has been the biggest disappointment Mats Sundin or Olli Jokinen?
Bob McKenzie: I’ll go with Mats Sundin, only because his body of work with the Vancouver Canucks is larger than that of Olli Jokinen with the Calgary Flames. Having said that, I believe that the prospect of Mats Sundin reversing what has happened in the regular season and making noise in the playoffs is far greater than Jokinen with the Flames.
Keith Jones: For me it is Olli Jokinen and for this reason: he shoots the puck a lot; therefore Mike Cammalleri has stopped scoring goals. Since the trade deadline just three goals for Cammalleri due to the negative effect of Olli Jokinen.
more questions answered…
“We’re trying to work on the power-play. We’re going over it and there’s some improvements.”
-The Flames Jarome Iginla via Flames Insider after practice today. By the way, the Flames are 0=37 on the PP.
from Flames Insider,
Yes, the Flames deserved far better. No question, Calgary should’ve walked out of GM Place on Tuesday with the Northwest Division pennant tucked safely in their back pocket.
But, chill. All is not lost. Quite the contrary.
Roberto Luongo was sensational. Give the man his due. But give the vanquished theirs, too. That was the finest game Mike Keenan’s backtracking battalion has played since trashing the Flyers 5-1 in Philly on March 5.
And for those Sea of Red zealots in full angst mode, bemoaning the criminal unjustness of the Vancouver netminder’s scene-stealing performance - take a deep breath and a small cup of perspective. How many times has Miikka Kiprusoff left other teams cursing in exactly the same way over the years? Hey, it can happen to YOU, too, you know.
In point of fact, outside of that absolutely impotent (now 0-for-37) powerplay, there wasn’t much to quibble about.
continued and watch video highlights of the game below…
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