Miikka Kipruosff stopped 28 of 29 shots and Jarome Iginla scored two goals and added an assist as the Calgary Flames beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 tonight. The loss extends the Red Wings streak of winless games to 6 while giving the Flames a bounce-back two points after a dismal game against the Canucks.
Someone will surely have the entire history of the Detroit Red Wings available in a part of their brain that is built specifically for holding hockey stats, but I can’t remember the last time I saw the Detroit Red Wings lose six games in a row. I can only imagine how frustrated the Red Wings fans are right now, but I think I may have some idea. The atmosphere in the Joe Louis Arena was very similar to the atmosphere in the Dome on Tuesday night. The strange part is that we Flames fans left feeling good about our win, yet we still have the exact same record as the Wings (5-5-1). Maybe we should be worried about this temporary feeling of invincibility.
Then again, maybe not. Jarome Iginla has made it into November and we all know what that means: it’s time for our captain to light it up again. Tonight’s effort was a good way for Iggy to turn the haters into believers again. Scoring two goals, including the game winner, is definitely a way to win back the love of fans after a very slow start to the season. The fact that Iginla was also an offensive threat when he wasn’t scoring speaks volumes about how he’s put the Canucks loss behind him.
Lee Stempniak and Olli Jokinen also scored for the flames, who put a much more consistent effort together. I wouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves here though. Detroit clearly played poorly tonight, and while the 2 points is on the board for the Flames, this demanding road trip continues tomorrow night in Buffalo. The Sabres are a much-improved team this year, and the Flames aren’t going to have any easy offensive chances while Robyn Regehr is on the ice.
So what is the moral of the story tonight? Don’t trade Iggy and Kipprusoff just yet. According to Roger Millions, there were 12 different scouts in the building watching the Flames tonight. Many teams in the league expect the Flames to break down and tear everything apart very soon, and they want to be prepared for that eventuality. But tonight’s win keeps the flame alight for a little while longer. As Boomer said on FAN960 this morning, US Thanksgiving is the key date to look at. If the Flames find themselves more than 4 points out of the playoffs after that date, expect Feaster to start trading key guys like Iggy and Kipper. If that happens, it’s going to be a long season filled with lots of losses, and frustration. And is Gio ever gonna be pissed.