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The Official Site of the Calgary Flames

Flames Update: 12.12.09

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

The Flames Update is a compilation of notes, quotes, anecdotes, audio and video that keeps you in touch with your team. It appears several times each week, usually on non-game days.

 December 12, 2009

Magnificent Miikka

After their 2-1 OT loss to the Minnesota Wild, Miikka Kiprusoff's teammates lamented their inability to earn a win for their goaltender.

"He kept us in the game," Curtis Glencross said with a shake of his head. "We didn't do our part."

Blueliner Aaron Johnson said that his team was negligent in their puck control in their own end, forcing Kiprusoff to face a season-high 46 shots.

"It started in the first period, giving up 19 shots against. It's not the way we play. We play well defensively, we don't let those shots through. Any time a team gets that many shots, you know we're doing something wrong."

The man himself wouldn't take much credit. In fact, he told the assembled media he thought the game was pretty even after the first 20 minutes.

"They were shooting a lot, especially in that first period,’’ he admitted. “We weren’t ready. But after that I thought it was an even game. We had chances. We hit the post, we hit the crossbar. Their (goal) was lucky. It's a tough loss."

The coaching staff was more in agreement with Kiprusoff's teammates.

"It's a shame to waste a performance like that," associate coach Dave Lowry said.

Balancing out the second line

With Nigel Dawes moving up to the top line with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen, David Moss has taken his spot on the second line with Rene Bourque and Nigel Dawes. 

"You know, it's been great," Moss said with smile. "They're two really good players. They certainly make my job a lot easier out there."

The first couple of games for the trio looked a bit shaky, with all three showing some hesitation in their passing plays, but after a few more games, all three look very comfortable with one another.

"I think it's just a little bit of getting used to each other, it's one of those things where it takes a few games but it comes with time so I think we'll be alright."

Moss is looking forward to building up more chemistry with Bourque and Langkow and sees the trio becoming more and more dangerous as time wears on. He believes have two physically dominating wingers on a line with a playmaker will lead to some excellent scoring chances.

"I think it'll be good for the three of us. Obviously it creates space when we're on the forecheck and certainly it gives Lanks more time with the puck when we give it to him.
He's a good distributor so he'll find us."

Injury report

Craig Conroy did skate with the team this morning, fully taking part in practice. The veteran centerman has been scratched for the last two games with an undisclosed injury but has insisted he's feeling good and ready to play as soon as the coaching staff allows him to.

Adam Pardy was also scratched on Friday. The blueliner did not take part in practice but did skate by himself prior to the rest of the team hitting the ice.

Cory Sarich is still not skating and will not make the trip with the team.

Another Northwest Division tilt

The Flames head back on the road today for a two-game road swing that will see them make stops in Colorado and St. Louis.

"We're not happy about it (Friday's loss) but now we move forward. The schedule is too tight to dwell on games. You learn from them and you move forward," said Dion Phaneuf.

Glencross said that the Flames need to get back to correcting the little details of their game and they'll be fine.

"It's a huge game for us. They beat us last time they were here and we weren't happy about it. It's been our problem the whole time," he said. "We beat ourselves. As long as we play our own game and play the way that we can, there's not a team that can really touch us."

Making a name for himself

Since Sarich has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury, Johnson has been inserted into the lineup and has been given the opportunity to make a name for himself. His last two games have been particularly impressive, notching both his first point and goal with the club.

His first goal of the season came from a heads-up play. Glencross had skated into the offensive zone and wired a shot on net. The forward was going to pick up his own rebound when he saw Johnson storming in from the blueline.

"I just saw him winding up coming down. I moved out of the way. He had a better opportunity than I did," said Glencross. "It was a good rebound goal. He jumped on it."

Johnson wasn't sure if the puck was going to make it to the back of the net but wasn't going to waste the opportunity.

"It kind of just came out in the slot. I was really just trying to put it on the net," he said. "Obviously I'm very excited for my first goal as a Flame."

Is there a reason for the sudden offensive outburst?

"I wish I knew," he smirked. "I'd be doing it all the time."

Did you know...

Iginla is now just six assists shy of passing Theoren Fleury for second spot on the Flames all-time assists leaders list ... the Flames have scored first in 24 of their 31 contests this season ... expect a tight game on Sunday night - four of the last five games the Flames have played in have ended in a 2-1 decision ... Conroy is just two points away from hitting 300 with the Flames ... Kiprusoff hasn't given up more than two goals in his last 10 starts.

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