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30 Teams in 30 Days -- Calgary

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Year One of the Mike Keenan Era on the Red Mile turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The Flames have one of the game’s best at forward, on defense and in net — now if those other 17 guys could just play a little better…

CALGARY FLAMES

2007-08: 42-30-10, 94 points (third in Northwest)

PLAYOFFS: Lost to San Jose in first round

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Jarome Iginla was a top-5 forward, Dion Phaneuf was a top-5 defenseman and goalie Mikka Kiprusoff was maybe not a top-5 goalie, but he played in 76 games and was not the problem – although he was yanked in Game 7 against the Sharks.

WHAT WENT WRONG: A lot that didn’t involve Calgary’s Big Three. Daymond Langkow and Kristian Huselius did their part, but nearly every other offensive player – especially Alex Tanguay, Matthew Lombardi and Craig Conroy – disappointed. Actually, the defense corps behind Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr was solid, so almost all of the blame belongs with the secondary scorers up front.

ARRIVALS: C Mike Cammalleri, LW Rene Bourque, LW Todd Bertuzzi, LW Curtis Glencross, RW Andre Roy

DEPARTURES: LW Kristian Huselius, LW Alex Tanguay, RW Owen Nolan, G Curtis Joseph, C Stephane Yelle

IMPACT PROSPECTS: C Mikael Backlund, G Leland Irving

CAMP QUESTIONS

Does Todd Bertuzzi still have it?

If you didn’t notice above, offensive depth was an issue for the Flames, and the team’s second-leading scorer left town. Maybe Dustin Boyd can have a breakout year, but there will be plenty of pressure on Bertuzzi to regain his place as a top power forward in this league.

Who plays on the second line?

Assuming Iginla and Langkow are on the top line and Cammalleri centers the second unit, the Flames still need to figure out who the other three top-six guys are. Bertuzzi is one, but the other two are uncertain. The candidates could be Boyd and Bourque unless one of the other young players surprise or a center like Lombardi or Conroy is moved to the wing.

PROGNOSIS: Assuming Cammalleri can be an upgrade over Tanguay’s 54 points, the Flames are still short on offense. Sure they can make up for it a lot of nights with the defense and goaltending, but they also need to find a few more nights off for Kiprusoff. This looks like a team that will need to have things break right just to be stuck in neutral, but could also slip back considering the young, improving teams behind them in the West.

DEPTH CHART*


Rene BourqueDaymond LangkowJarome Iginla
Dustin BoydMichael CammalleriTodd Bertuzzi
David MossMatthew LombardiCurtis Glenncross
Marcus Nilson /Eric NystromCraig ConroyWayne Primeau/Andre Roy
Dion PhaneufRobyn Regehr
Adrian AucoinAndres Eriksson
Cory SarichJames Vandermeer
Rhett WarrenerMark Giordano
Mikka Kiprusoff
Curtis McElhinney

 

*NOTE: This is not necessarily an attempt to guess line combinations

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