The Calgary Flames will take on the St. Louis Blues tonight, and despite his recent struggles the team will once again put their faith in Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes. The Flames have lost three straight games, and Kiprusoff allowed five goals to both the Nashville Predators and the Columbus Blue Jackets in their two most recent games.
Kiprusoff has established himself as one of the league’s best goaltenders over the past decade, but this season has been a giant disappointment for him and the team. He is 5-7-2 this season, with a 3.54 goals-against average that is well above his 2.48 career average. While his numbers have been bad, Joey MacDonald has struggled in the backup role as well. MacDonald is 3-5-1 since joining the Flames while Kiprusoff was out with a groin injury back in February.
A struggling penalty kill (23rd in the league) isn’t making things easier for Calgary’s goaltenders, and has certainly had an impact on the Flames having ranking 28th in the league in goals against. Every defenseman on the team has a negative number in plus-minus, as even veterans like Jay Bouwmeester have struggled. With Kiprusoff only signed through next season and having one of the biggest cap hits for the Flames, it’s not out of the question that another goaltender could be a big part of the rebuilding process that is finally coming. Before the loss to the Blue Jackets, the Flames had scored at least three goals in four straight games, but had only two wins to show for it. With Kiprusoff playing the way he has been, it may not matter who the team trades away or brings back in return at the trade deadline.