An injury to star goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was a huge blow to the Calgary Flames this season and when top prospect Leland Irving failed to perform up to expectations, the team was forced to explore other options. When the Detroit Red Wings placed goaltender Joey MacDonald on waivers, it wasn’t long before the Flames snatched him up. The hope was that MacDonald could make a handful of starts while Kiprusoff was out and then assume a backup role when he returns. So far, things are moving along according to plan with MacDonald winning three of his last four starts and Kiprusoff slated to return soon.
Irving went 2-1-1 for the Flames, which seems alright for a young goaltending prospect. The problem was his 3.33 goals against average and .883 save percentage and he was returned to the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL shortly after the team signed MacDonald. AHL veteran Danny Taylor remains in Calgary as MacDonald’s backup and recently made his first NHL start (a 4-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes).
MacDonald made 23 saves to lead the Flames to a 5-4 win over the Coyotes on Sunday, one night after recording a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in which he made 30 saves. Last season he found himself in a similar position, making appearances in place of an injured Jimmy Howard. MacDonald was 8-5-1 with a 2.16 goals against average and played a vital part in keeping an NHL-record home win streak alive for the Red Wings.
He will get a chance to continue his hot streak tonight as he was reported to be getting the start against the Wild.