The key to success in the Stanley Cup playoffs is to ride a hot goaltender through the two month derby. If any team feels good about their situation going into the race for the cup it has to be the Calgary Flames.
Mikka Kiprusoff once again shut down an opposing squad, as the Flames toppled the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 clinching their divisional title in the Northwest. With the win the Flames sit as the third seed in the Western Conference, confident that there should be much more hockey to be played in Calgary through May and possibly even through until June.
The Flames, who don’t seem to score much of late, don’t really need to. Kiprusoff rarely gives up goals these days, when the Flames grab the lead its pretty well a given now that they’ll go on to win. They have become the hot Canadian team at just the right time.
While they still make mistakes, they normally can count on Kiprusoff to bail them out of trouble and give them a shot at coming out of each game with two points.
With a core group of Iginla, Phaneuf and Regher the Flames play some pretty hard hitting and exciting hockey, add in the luxury of a goaltender that is becoming legendary and you have the ingredients for a lengthy playoff run.
Fans hopeful for Canadian content in the Stanley Cup final may find that the Flames are ready to fill their needs. One thing is certain, any team taking on the Flames had best get a handle on Kipper; he’s standing in their way and doesn’t seem to have any plans to move aside any time soon.