The numbers are so un-Miikka-like that it's shocking.
A 3.76 goals-against average. An .854 save percentage.
Actually, when you think about it, those statistics for Miikka Kiprusoff are downright scary.
Consider these facts: Andre Racicot's career stats — 3.50 and .880 — are actually better. And the former Montreal Canadiens goalie was nicknamed 'Red Light.'
The Flames have limped out of the gates to start the NHL season with a 1-3-1 record and are coming off an inexcusable 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night, so the magnifying glass to find what's all wrong is growing in intensity.
It doesn't help Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri have both yet to score a goal. The horrible penalty killing has been a factor. Same with the shoddy defensive play as they ready for Saturday night's clash with the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. MST, Saddledome).
But the one person who has the best chance for the Flames to overcome any and all early-season issues was supposed to their star goalie.
Instead, he's been sub-standard. It's not that he's costing them games or surrendering a bunch of bad goals — although that long P.A. Parenteau backhand through his five-hole against the Avs sure was one — it's just that Kiprusoff isn't winning games.
"I'll be very honest with you, Miikka Kiprusoff was one of the reasons why I decided to come to Calgary, and I still feel the same way," said Flames head coach Bob Hartley after Friday's practice at the Dome.
"If I was a betting man, I know that Miikka Kiprusoff is going to win way more games for the Calgary Flames than he's going to lose. He's one of the best goalies in the league. I feel very comfortable, very confident with Miikka, and I know that he's going to bounce back."
Kiprusoff didn't speak to the media Friday, which is his right, but his teammates have no qualms about defending the veteran goaltender.
"Obviously, he's going to get scrutinized because he's our best player. We know that, but we were loose (Thursday night). We gave up a few too many good chances in the slot," said Flames defenceman Mark Giordano. "He makes so many great saves and does so many things right that sometimes we expect too much out of him."
Expecting Kiprusoff to be Superman is definitely out of the question, and nobody is doing that.
Miikka Kiprusoff struggling to find form
Calgary Sun | Feb 2