Game Day: Detroit Red Wings at Calgary Flames
Keep your eyes on Miikka Kiprusoff and Dan DeKeyser
Detroit Red Wings (20-15-7) at Calgary Flames (16-22-4)
7:30 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome
Radio: FAN 960
Keep Your Eye On
Miikka Kiprusoff — Possibly the final home-ice appearance for the best goalie in franchise history. Not a winter to remember, but definitely a career to admire.
* S.Baertschi M.Stajan L.Stempniak
* C.Glencross M.Backlund J.Hudler
* M.Cammalleri R.Horak B.Hanowski
* S.Begin M.Reinhart T.Jackman
* M.Giordano C.Sarich
* T.J.Brodie D.Wideman
* C.Butler B.Carson
* D Derek Smith (knee), LW Alex Tanguay (knee), RW Brian McGrattan (shoulder)
THE RED WINGS
Keep Your Eye On
Dan DeKeyser — Flames, yes, took a crack at the free-agent college defender. So far, in five appearances for Wings, the 23-year-old hotshot has one assist.
* H.Zetterberg P.Datsyuk J.Abdelkader
* J.Franzen V.Filppula D.Cleary
* G.Nyquist J.Andersson D.Brunner
* D.Miller C.Emmerton J.Tootoo
* N.Kronwall J.Ericsson
* D.DeKeyser J.Kindl
* C.Colaiacovo B.Smith
* C Darren Helm (back), RW Todd Bertuzzi (back), RW Mikael Samuelsson (chest)
5 THINGS ABOUT NO. 34
1. DRAFT DAY FOR NO. 34 — San Jose drafted goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in the fifth round of 1995. The first round that year had been crammed with netminders — Jean-Sebastien Giguere (13th), Martin Biron (16th), Brian Boucher (22nd), Marc Denis (25th). In all, 11 goalies were grabbed before Kiprusoff, who was reeled in with the 116th shout. To get Kiprusoff, general manager Darryl Sutter swapped a 2005 second-round pick. The Sharks parlayed that selection into defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
2. KIPRUSOFF’S FAVOURITE HAUNTS — Hard to knock his success at the Saddledome, where he’s started 304 times, going 185-82-36, 2.22 GAA, .919 save percentage, with 26 shutouts. In two other barns, Kiprusoff has bagged 15 career wins — Edmonton’s Rexall Place (15-9-1) and San Jose’s HP Pavilion (15-15-3). But his work at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis is pretty spiffy, too — 10-3-1. Rink with his best GAA — Florida’s BB&T Center, 0.96 in two starts. Rink with his best save percentage — Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, .966 in four appearances. (Worst work area for No. 34 — Anaheim’s Honda Center, 1-7-1, 3.31, .897.)
3. (KIPRUS)OFF THE CHARTS — Owns the NHL modern-day record for a 1.69 GAA in 2003-04 . . . Claimed 2005-06 Vezina . . . Kiprusoff has won 303 games for the Flames, 41 more than Mike Vernon . . . On the NHL’s all-time lists, Kiprusoff is 36th in games-played with 620 (nine behind Turk Broda) . . . He is 23rd in wins with 317 (seven behind Sean Burke) . . . He is 51st in losses with 212 (two behind Ron Hextall) . . . He is 23rd in saves with 15,518 (652 behind Felix Potvin) . . . He is 29th in shutouts with 44 (two behind Ken Dryden) . . . He is 35th in minutes-played with 35,990:19 (615:47 behind Jose Theodore).
4. KIPRUSODDS AND ENDS — On the road, he’s a career 122-123-34 . . . In matinees, 13-14-3 . . . His career GAA in wins is 1.71; in losses, 3.41 . . . Best day of the week? Tuesday, with a 2.12 GAA, .927. His worst? Sunday, 2.76, .904 . . . His only sub-.500-record day of the week — Monday (23-27-8) . . . Most wins (and most games) are Saturday — 71-33-18 . . . His best month? February, 2.26. His worst? October, 2.86 . . . Best month for shutouts, November with 10 . . . Most wins have come against Edmonton (33), Minnesota (29). Most losses have been provided by Vancouver, 24 (but Kiprusoff also has 22 wins against the Canucks) . . . Most dominated opponent? St. Louis, 21-7-2 (1.96 GAA) . . . Pre-all-star game numbers — 194-124-39, 2.47, .912. Post-all-star game numbers — 123-88-32, 2.52, .913.
5. NO ONE ASKED ME BUT — Kiprusoff’s finest performance? Philadelphia, Dec. 6, 2005. That night, the Flames goalie blocked all 37 shots (many on breakways, many from point-blank range) through 65 minutes. His counterpart, Antero Niittymaki, had been perfect, too, but much less harried. Kiprusoff, who also drew a first-period minor, allowed only one shootout goal in a 1-0 setback. A stunning performance. And? He may have been even better the day before — during an afternoon practice at the Spectrum. For a significant stretch of the session, he refused to let his teammates score. Eventually — probably to lessen the creeping humiliation — Kiprusoff relaxed, got out of his crouch. Only then did a few pucks dribble past him.
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