2011-2012 Preview: Calgary Flames

Posted: September 4, 2011 by JoeyD in Calgary Flames, Season Preview
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last season: 41-29-12 94pts, 2nd Northwest, Did not make Playoffs

Additions: Roman Horak, Sven Barteschi (1st round pick), Paul Byron, Chris Butler, Scott Hannan, Pierre-Luc Lettourneau-Leblond, Jordan Henry, Quintin Liang, Lee Stempniak

Losses: Fredrik Modin, Tim Erixon, Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik, Keith Seabrook, Adam Pardy, Steve Staios, Daymond Langkow

Offense: Alex Tanguay’s best season in five years earned him a five year contract which feels a little bit risky but you have seen more good than average out of Tanguay in his career. The Flames resigned Curtis Glencross to a 4 year deal after a career year in goals and will be counted on to net in the area of 20 goals for the Flames.  Captain Jarome Iginla bounced back from a slow first few games of the season to produce 43 goals and 86 points. Iginla is only 16 goals away from 500 in his career. New kid (hey 28 is young in Calgary right now) Lee Stempniak was just added to the Flames in return for Daymond Langkow. If he spends more time on the third line than the top-two lines and is still able to pot near 20 goals this could work out well for the Flames.

Defense: Anton Babchuk was re-signed to a great value deal and will provide a good offensive boost on the blue line  and  would expect to fill in to the first PP duties if Bouwmeester or Giordano were swapped out or injured. Also a late and solid addition to the blueline in the form of Scott Hannan shores up the blueline as well.  Chris Butler and Paul Byron are younger defensemen but also untested and could prove that the Flames team defense could take a step back this season.

Goaltending: Miikka Kiprusoff had an off season last year with only a .906 save percentage last season when his team kept the the opposition shot totals very low while also playing, by his standards’ only 71 games. GM Jay Feaster has already stated that Kipper is going to play even less this season and Henrik Karlsson will be seeing more necessary playing time this season. Will less time and more rest bode well for Kipper and the Flames or will the Flames be forced to ponder their goaltending future?

Standout Player: Jarome Iginla.

Captain Iggy has been the man for a while now in Calgary and it will continue for another year. Who knows if he will hit 40 and 40 again (as much as I feel it would be needed for the Flames to make the playoffs) but topping the charts  in Calgary will no doubt be the captain.

Prediction: 2nd Northwest; 10th West

GM Jay Feaster seems to have gone the tinkering route to his roster this offseason. For an aging team, I am not sure this will get the Flames back in the postseason. The best players for the Flames are over 30 and the room for error will be slight. Any discernable slip in production from the top players as well as those with career years in goals and points last season can spell doom for this team next season.  If the flames stumble for any real length of time I don’t see them making the playoffs this year. If they can duplicate their play from last season, coupled with some key defensive losses from other top contenders, sneaking into the playoffs can be a real possibility.

  1. Dan MacNeal says:

    Iginla’s 500th comes Dec 10 vs the Oil. Calling it now

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