Miikka Kiprusoff was injured, the backup goalies weren’t performing, the Calgary Flames were in last place, and the multi-season trade rumors surrounding Jarome Iginla seemed like they would finally come to fruition. The Flames looked poised for a rebuild, but then something strange happened.
The offense clicked, led by Mike Cammalleri, and unexpected goaltending performances kept the Calgary Flames in games. After a nice little run, the Flames are flirting with .500 and not quite in the basement of a loaded Western Conference. By no means are the Flames in the playoff conversation just yet, but after a nice run, they’re in position to find their way into the clutter.
When Miikka Kiprusoff is finally back to playing every day in net for Calgary, if they can find a way to remain close, they’ll get a huge lift. Keeping their veteran leaders like Jarome Iginla will be crucial to staying focused and continuing to win against the odds. They have gotten strong performances from players filling in in net, but they need Kiprusoff back to be legitimate playoff contenders.
In a shortened season, everyone is still in the hunt. That may drive up the price for a guy like Jarome Iginla, who has meant so much to the Calgary Flames franchise over the years. It’s hard to imagine Calgary hockey without him, and with Kiprusoff on his way back, the Flames should not trade Jarome Iginla.
The Flames are still, like everyone, in the playoff hunt. The difference is that they’ll get a goalie back who can help them sneak into the playoffs with a late push. As demonstrated by the Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet this week – Calgary isn’t ready to give up on this season.