Series Preview - Part 2: Hard Hitting Offense
Calgary was 27th in the NHL this season averaging 2.63 goals per game – only non-playoff teams Columbus, Chicago and St. Louis averaged less. By comparison, Anaheim was 13th in the NHL in ’05-’06 averaging 3.06 goals per game. The Flames were also 29th in the league with 108 even strength goals.
Below is a look at the Calgary forwards.
#12 Jarome Iginla - RW – The Flames captain is one of the best all around wingers in the game. Iginla has a combination of finesse and toughness not seen in too many players around the NHL. During the Flames’ run to the Western Conference Championship in ’03-’04, Iginla led all players with 13 goals. In ’03-’04, his 41 regular season goals made him the co-winner (shared with Columbus’ Rick Nash and Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk) of the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Award for most goals in the season. This season, the Edmonton, AB native scored 35 goals and had 32 assists leading the Flames in both categories.
#10 Tony Amonte- RW – The 35-year-old wing in his 15th NHL season has 406 career NHL goals and 870 total points. Amonte recorded three 40-goal seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1990’s. The Hingham, Mass. native, who signed with Calgary as a free agent before the season, still possesses great speed and remains an offensive threat for Calgary. Amonte recorded 14 goals and 28 assists this season. In 86 career playoff games, Amonte has 51 points with the Rangers, Blackhawks and Flyers.
#11 Stephane Yelle – C – Yelle won two Stanley Cups while playing with the Colorado Avalanche. A checking center whose skating ability makes it tough on opposing centermen, Yelle had four goals and 14 assists in 74 games this season. In his 9th NHL season, Yelle has appeared in the playoffs eight times and a total of 134 games.
#15 Byron Ritchie – C – Ritchie was sidelined for 23 games this season with a right knee injury and was also a healthy scratch for 14 games. Ritchie is another two-way centerman for Calgary giving them depth at the position. In 45 games in ’05-’06, Ritchie had four goals and two assists. The Burnaby, B.C. native has never made a playoff appearance.
#16 Shean Donovan – RW – Donovan is strong on the forecheck. A second-round (28th overall) draft pick of the San Jose Sharks in 1993, Donovan managed nine goals and 11 assists in 80 games this season. The speedy winger has 36 career playoff games to his credit with San Jose, Colorado and the Flames.
#17 Chris Simon – LW – Simon is known as a tough, intimidating winger with the ability to be a scoring threat. His 94 Penalty Minutes this season are down from ’03-’04 when the 13-year NHL veteran registered 250 PIM with the Rangers and Flames. Simon was scratched from the Ducks/Flames season finale at the Arrowhead Pond on April 17th.
#18 Matthew Lombardi – C – This 24-year-old Montreal native makes his living as a good set-up man who is adept at winning face-offs. Lombardi missed 24 games this season with an ankle injury. A 2002 Flames draft pick (3rd Round, 90th Overall), Lombardi picked up six goals and 20 assists in ’05-’06.
#19 Chuck Kobasew – RW – Another 24-year-old Flames draft pick (1st Round, 14th Overall in 2001). Kobasew was the NCAA Frozen Four tournament MVP in 2001 with Boston College. A quick winger with a scoring touch, Kobasew notched 20 goals and 11 assists this season. In ’03-’04, Kobasew played in all 26 Flames’ playoff games as a rookie and recorded one assist.
#20 Kristian Huselius – RW – A 6’1”, 190-pound Swede, Huselius scored 20 goals with 27 helpers in 78 games. Huselius was acquired this season from Florida on December 5th for Steve Montador and Dustin Johner. In ’00-’01, Huselius was a member of the NHL’s All-Rookie Team. This series against Anaheim will be his first playoff appearance.
#22 Daymond Langkow – C – Calgary’s best offensive forward behind Iginla. Langkow got 24 goals and 34 assists and played in all 82 games this season. Primarily known as a scorer and playmaker, Langkow is also solid defensively. A former Coyote and Flyer, Langkow has played in 33 playoff games with eight goals and 11 assists.
#24 Jamie Lundmark – C – In 53 games this season with the Rangers, Coyotes and Flames, Lundmark had 10 goals and 19 assists. A first-round draft pick of the Rangers in 1999 (1st Round, 9th Overall), the 25-year-old Lundmark is known for above average speed and his ability to play any forward position.
#25 Darren McCarty – RW – A three-time Stanley Cup Champion with Detroit. McCarty is a premier defensive forward and with Simon brings toughness to the Flames’ attack. McCarty signed as a free agent with the Flames prior to the season and was the Flames PIM leader with 117. In 150 playoff games, McCarty scored 20 goals, 25 assists and racked up 194 PIM.
#26 Marcus Nilson – LW – Nilson was sidelined with a knee injury on March 28th. He had six goals and 11 assists for the Flames this season. The seven-year NHL veteran played in all 26 Flames’ playoff games in ’03-’04 and scored four goals and had seven assists.
#27 Mike Leclerc – LW – A Duck from the ’98-’99 season through August of this year, Leclerc was traded to Phoenix by Anaheim on August 23rd for a conditional pick in 2007. Phoenix dealt Leclerc to Calgary at the trade deadline with Brian Boucher for Steve Reinprecht and Philippe Sauve. In 50 games this season with Phoenix and Calgary, Leclerc scored 10 goals and had 16 assists.
#29 Craig MacDonald – C – Signed with the Flames as a free agent before this season. MacDonald spent part of this season with Omaha of the American Hockey League. In 25 games with Calgary in ’05-’06, MacDonald had three goals and two assists. The 29-year-old native of Nova Scotia gives the Flames more depth at center.