The Calgary Flames had their worst nightmare come true last night. Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff left the game with a lower-body injury and didn’t return in what turned out to be a 4-1 Flames win over the Detroit Red Wings. The extent of the injury to Kiprusoff is not yet known, but the real question is, can the Flames continue to win and push for a playoff spot without him?
While it may be too soon to judge the Flames performances and given the extent of Kiprusoff’s injury is not yet known, it could be premature to even look at this. But judging by the comments from Roger Millions of Sportsnet via Twitter this morning, the Flames are going to need help in goal.
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) February 6, 2013
It’s believed that Kari Ramo will be called up from the AHL to back up Leland Irving until the seriousness of the injury is determined. Of course if the 36-year old should miss any great deal of time, the Flames do have the option of dealing for another proven goalie to help carry the load.
Kiprusoff was expected to play in over 40 games this season which would be nothing new for the workhorse who’s averaged 72 starts per year over the past 7 seasons in Calgary.
He is without a doubt the rock of the Calgary Flames, stealing games that the team has no business winning. He’s also the type of goalie that if the team can sneak into the playoffs, Kiprusoff could get hot and carry this Flames team deep into the spring, making another run at the Cup like they did in 2004.
Of course that could all be here say if the former all-star is set to miss a month or more, something that could force the Flames hand in to acquiring another netminder.
Roger Millions throws a few names out there that could be had like Scott Clemensen from the Florida Panthers or the obvious one that will come up a lot is Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings.
Bernier won’t come cheap and it may be foolish for the Flames to part ways with any more prospects given their cupboards are finally being restocked. If the club is playing well in Kipper’s absence will they want to give up roster players who are making up the nucleus of the team?
Many questions remain surrounding the Flames and Miikka Kiprusoff and while we wait for answers, Flames fans will hold their breath as their season hangs in the balance on their goaltenders injury.