With the Flames heading into this season with a seemingly competent, perhaps even quite good goaltending tandem of Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson, as well as some prospects in the pipeline with promise like Jon Gillies and Tyler Parsons, optimism about goaltending for the Calgary Flames is the highest it has been in years. All this positivity led me to reminiscing about our former staple of comfort, Miikka Kiprusoff.
What a guy. The cool, calm, collected Finn was the backbone of the Flames for years. Combined with the fact he rarely had a competent goaltender backing him up and the matter that he was very good, he was literally “the Goalie” for the Flames for almost a decade. He was a phenomenal goaltender, providing many great moments throughout the course of his 576 games in a Flames uniform, winning 305 times and posting 41 shutouts. He also had one of the most gnarly masks I have ever seen.
He also had a knack for making unreal saves. So many beautiful saves.
Like this one on Kyle Wellwood:
And how about this little kick sequence to stop Scott Nichol:
This slick grab with the legs was not too bad either:
And this was quite the lunge to deny Brendan Morrow:
Yeah, Kiprusoff brought us many years of great entertainment and terrific saves. While his time in the NHL ended rather unceremoniously, we cannot forget all the great work the Kipper did. The Flames have yet to honour the guy, but they should get around to it. He definitely deserves it. Hopefully somebody in the organization can come anywhere close to the success he had as the Flames’ goaltender. Hope you are enjoying retirement, Miikka.