Series Preview - Part 1: Defense First

Thursday, 04.20.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Series Preview - Part 1: Defense First
In 82 games, the Flames gave up league lows of 193 total goals, 93 even-strength goals (the next-lowest was Ottawa with 112) and a stingy 2.35 goals per game. Two major reasons why: 1. Miikka Kiprusoff; 2. A solid defense that is regarded as one of the most physical in the game.

Here is the who’s who in the Calgary net and on their blue line.

GOALTENDERS

#34 Miikka Kiprusoff – The 29-year-old Turku, Finland native backstopped the Flames to a 2003-2004 Stanley Cup finals appearance in his first season as a starting NHL netminder. In 26 playoff games, Kiprusoff was 15-11 with a 1.85 Goals Against Average (GAA), a .928 save percentage (SV %) and a league-high five shutouts. This season, Kiprusoff is the odds-on favorite for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. A fifth-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks in 1995, Kiprusoff has posted a league-best 2.07 GAA and 12 shutouts in 2005-2006.

#33 Brian Boucher – The former Flyers and Coyotes netminder started the regular season finale against the Ducks to spell Kiprusoff, who was given the night off. The Flames backup has appeared in 21 post-season games, all with Philadelphia. The Woonsocket, RI native backstopped Philadelphia in 2000 all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals as a rookie including a five-overtime victory over Pittsburgh in the second round. Boucher also broke the NHL record for the longest streak while with Phoenix in ’03-’04 with five consecutive shutouts and a shutout sequence of 332 minutes and one second.

DEFENSEMEN

#3 Dion Phaneuf – Thought of as one of the best rookie defensemen in the ’05-’06 class, the 6-2, 213-pound Edmonton, Alberta native is a strong physical presence on the Calgary blue line with a big shot and offensive playmaking ability. Phaneuf played all 82 games this season and recorded 20 goals and 28 assists. Calgary’s top pick in 2003 (9th overall), Phaneuf finished this season a +5 and logged a team-high 1,781 minutes.

#4 Roman Hamrlik – At 6-2, 210 pounds, Hamrlik is a former first overall draft pick (Tampa Bay 1st, 1st Overall – 1992) with a big shot. He has spent time with the Islanders, Oilers and Lightning and is still the only European-born defenseman to be drafted first overall. Hamrlik, who signed with Calgary as a free agent before this season, missed 31 games in ’05-’06 with injuries to his knee and hand. 

#6 Jordan Leopold – A former Ducks draft pick in 1999 (2nd Round, 44th overall), Leopold is known as an efficient puck-moving defenseman who logs considerable ice time. Leopold was third on the Flames this season in Time On Ice (TOI) behind Phanuef and right wing Jarome Iginla. The defensive pairing of Leopold and Robyn Regehr will likely face the Ducks top line of Andy McDonald, Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz. The 2006 U.S. Olympian finished this season with two goals and 18 assists for the Flames and was a +6 in 74 games.

#7 Bryan Marchment – Played only 37 games for the Flames this season (23 injury /18 scratch) after signing with Calgary as a free agent in October. Marchment will look for the big hit on opposing offensive players. The 16-year NHL veteran has appeared in 83 NHL playoff games prior to this series with four goals, three assists and 102 penalty minutes.

#21 Andrew Ference – The 27-year-old Edmontonian is the only Flames defenseman listed at less than six feet (5-10, 195). Despite his size, you can add Ference to the list of Calgary D-men who play a very physical style. Ference was acquired by the Flames in 2003 from Pittsburgh for a 3rd round draft pick. As a rookie with the Flames during their 2003-04 run to the Stanley Cup finals, he played in all 26 playoff games and was a +5 with three assists.

#28 Robyn Regehr – A Flames assistant captain, Regehr is Calgary’s biggest defenseman at 6-3, 230 and pairs with Leopold as the Flames’ most defensively solid twosome. In his sixth NHL season (all with the Flames), Regehr recorded career highs in goals (6) and assists (20) this year. Born in Recife, Brazil, Regehr also played in all of Calgary’s 26 playoff games in ’03-’04, posting two goals and seven assists while averaging 26:27 minutes per game.

#32 Cale Hulse – Hulse was added at the trade deadline in a deal with Columbus for Cam Severson. The 6-3, 220-pound defenseman is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury. Hulse is married to Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin.

#44 Rhett Warrener – Another Flames assistant captain, Warrener returned to the Calgary lineup on April 11 in a 3-0 victory over the Ducks after missing 17 games with a sprained knee. In his 10th NHL season, Warrener is known as a tough defensive defenseman. The Shaunavon, Saskatchewan native spent four seasons each with Florida and Buffalo before coming to Calgary before the 2003-04 season.

#46 Mark Giordano – Has shuttled to and from Omaha of the American Hockey League three times this season. A Toronto native, Giordano was last recalled on April 6 and has played seven games with Calgary this season.

ALL PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES / NHL

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48


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