After picking up five out of a possible six points against divisional rivals last week, the Flames are maintaining their eight-point lead in the Northwest. The team played a home game against the Vancouver Canucks last Tuesday, and then played two road games against Minnesota and Edmonton.
Last week wasn’t all good news for the Flames. The injury bug finally bit Calgary losing four players. Daymond Langkow, Rene Bourque, Andre Roy and Mark Giordano were out of the lineup during Saturday’s 3-2 SO victory over the Oilers.
Both Langkow and Roy are listed as day-to-day. The length of time Giordano and Bourque will be out is unknown. The only player head coach Mike Keenan would comment on was Bourque.
"He's going to be gone for a long time," Keenan told the media after Thursday’s win over the Minnesota Wild. Bourque was taken down by Dan Fritsche and suffered an ankle injury last Thursday.
To fill in the blanks, Brandon Prust and Jim Vandermeer returned to the lineup after recovering from their injuries. Jamie Lundmark and Kyle Greentree were also called up from the Quad City Flames.
Jarome Iginla picked up two points last week putting him at 824 career points. He’s now six points behind Flames all-time points leader Theoren Fleury. "I’ve been blessed in my career to play 12 seasons here. It gets to be more fun as we continue to improve as a team," Iginla said of the achievement.
This week, the Flames are home for three games at the Saddledome before heading out for another road trip taking them through the east.
Calgary vs. Columbus, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Flames PPV & The FAN 960
February has been a hot month for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They put together six wins this month including a four-game winning streak, and have moved themselves up to sixth place in the Western Conference. The team has never made the postseason and they’re chasing a spot in the playoffs hard.
Columbus has only lost three contests including a 5-2 setback to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. Rick Nash and former Flame Kristian Huselius scored both goals in that loss.
Nash leads all Blue Jackets in scoring with 26 goals and 57 points on the year. He’s notched four goals and eight helpers against the Flames in the last 20 games.
The last time these two teams met was on January 21 with the Flames picking up the victory in a shootout. Todd Bertuzzi scored the lone goal in the shootout and has become recognized as a specialist in the area. Mike Cammalleri had two goals, and Iginla had a goal and an assist.
The final meeting between the two comes on March 26 in Columbus.
Calgary vs. Minnesota, Friday, Feb. 27, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
The Minnesota Wild have rebounded well since their 3-2 OT loss to the Flames last Thursday. They beat both Red Wings and Blackhawks over the weekend and outscored both clubs 7-3.
Great goaltending has been the key for the Wild. Josh Harding made a career-high 44 saves in the Wild’s win over the Blackhawks. The young backup goalie has a 2.14 GAA and .933 save percentage this season. Harding has played one game against Calgary this season on December 29. He faced 29 shots in the Wild’s 2-1 loss.
Former Flame Owen Nolan has been a tear lately. The veteran had three points in the Wild’s 5-2 win over Detroit. He has six points in his last five contests and notched 17 goals this year.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu leads his team in scoring. He has 16 goals and 38 helpers, but only has two points in his last five games.
The Flames have won three games so far against Minnesota. Bertuzzi and Langkow lead the team in points against the Wild with three each.
The two clubs will meet twice before the end of the regular season.
Calgary vs. Tampa Bay, Sunday, March 1, 6:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
After defeating Calgary in the 2004 Stanley Cup finals, the Lightning have been freefalling in the standings. They’re currently 13th place in the Eastern Conference, and still determined to try their hardest to make the postseason.
Tampa Bay ended last week with a hard-fought win over the Boston Bruins at home. They head out on a three-game western Canada road swing on Tuesday with Calgary as the last stop on March 1.
Martin St. Louis leads the Bolts with 56 points. He has 20 goals and 36 assists this year, picking up two assists in his last five games.
Vincent Lecavalier is the club’s top scorer with 25 goals, but is in the midst of a scoring slump with his last goal coming on February 12 against Toronto.
Goaltending has been an issue this season. Both Olaf Kolzig and Mike Smith have been hit with injuries, leaving the duties to Karri Ramo and Mike McKenna. They both have two wins, three loses and a single overtime loss this season. Ramo was in net for the Bolts win over the Bruins, making an impressive 40 saves with a .930 save percentage.
The Lightning have had great success at the Dome over the past few years. The last time they came to the Dome was on March10, 2007, grabbing a 3-2 OT win. The last time Calgary beat Tampa Bay on home ice was January 2, 2003 with a 4-1 win.
This Week’s Key Numbers
Eric Nystrom will play in his 100th NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Jarome Iginla needs seven points to become the Flames all-time points leader.
Miikka Kiprusoff needs six more wins to reach 200.