Iggy Nets Four Sinks Dogs 

Flames Slay Jet Curse At Least For One Night

February 23rd, 2002
Rick Charlton

Lowry Conroy Iginla
Niedermayer Drury Clark
Gelinas Yelle Saprykin
Berube Begin Sloan
Gauthier Boughner
Leopold Regehr
Lydman Ference

Forty might not be out of the question after all.

Jarome Iginla continued his hot pace, punctuating his case for staying in Calgary as the NHL's trade deadline looms by picking up four goals, his 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th of the year as the Flames hung on to beat the Coyotes 4-2 last night in Phoenix.

"It was a fun night out there," said Iginla on FAN960 after the game. "I got a lot of shots. (They were) shots that were quality chances and tonight I got some breaks that went in."

Iginla, recipient of a huge contract in the off-season, spent much of the first 22 games of this campaign with a variety of ailments, his production of only seven goals and overall game a shadow of its former self leaving the 25 year-old superstar the target of frequent derision and trade rumours.

Iginla's health has improved dramatically as the Christmas break fades into the rear-view mirror, however, the right winger now with 21 goals in his last 35 games and an astonishing 13 goals in his last 10 contests.

On this night he had 10 shots, was a plus three and logged 21:46 minutes of ice time.

It would be fair to say Iginla is making a hard charge to recoup at least some measure of respectability from an otherwise dismal campaign.

With 19 games remaining in the schedule, Iginla has brought himself at least within a sniff of notching 40 on the year, even though most of those will have come with the season already hopelessly lost.

The obvious puzzle for Flames coaches and management to contemplate at the trade deadline and through the summer is how to get the Flames to win WITH a healthy Iginla in the lineup since there record seems to vary little whether Iginla is healthy or not.

The victory stalled at least temporarily Calgary's derisive drive to the bottom of the NHL's overall standings, putting the first overall pick in next summer's NHL entry draft on the backburner at least for one night.

Calgary is now 19-30-10-4 on the season for 52 points, Buffalo winners already on the evening and Atlanta and Columbus still playing, the only teams within spitting distance of last overall.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Buffalo Nikolai Zherdev
2 Atlanta Marc Andre Fleury
3 Carolina Eric Stall
4 Calgary Nathan Horton
5 Columbus Milan Michalek
*ranking: McKeen's 2/13/03

The victory, the first in seven games for the Flames, broke something of a jinx, only the second time Calgary had beaten Phoenix in 22 games, Flames now 2-16-4 both at home and on the road against the former Winnipeg Jets. It was Calgary's first win in Phoenix in 14 games.

The last time Calgary beat Phoenix, Iginla also had a hat trick.

This was a rough, physical affair with two fights in the opening 25 seconds, Steve Begin being bloodied and knocked down by Brad May and then Bob Boughner getting the upper hand on Kelly Buchberger.

As much as Iginla dominated the offensive side of the equation with a power play goal, a marker shorthanded, an even strength goal and an empty net goal, Flames starter Roman Turek was equally effective at the other end of the rink.

Turek was borderline sensational with 32 saves, including 16 in the second period as the Coyotes dominated.

Perhaps his inspiration was the quote in Saturday's Calgary Herald where coach Darryl Sutter said the final 20 games would be a performance evaluation to determine if Turek would be the number one goalie in Calgary next year.

So far so good.

Deron Quint and Ladislav Nagy scored for the Coyotes.

Both Phoenix goals came on the powerplay, among the eight chances with the man advantage the Coyotes were offered. Calgary was one for six on the powerplay.

Flames generated 33 shots on Phoenix starter Sean Burke.

Next up is San Jose tonight, an interesting date on the schedule as former Shark coach Sutter returns to the Tank for the first time.

Get Your Calgarypuck Gear!




Calgary Flames 4
Phoenix Coyotes 2

1) Jarome Iginla - A dominating performance on and off the scoresheet, the only thing missing might have been tossing knuckles with Todd Simpson when he wrestled with the former Flames captain in the first period. 

2) Roman Turek - See, here's the thing with Turek. He's absolutely capable as an NHL number one goaltender as performances like his 32 save performance in Phoenix would indicate. It's the nights he's not there that drive you nuts. 

3) Robyn Regehr - Beginning to regain his early season form.

Daniel Briere faced a yawning cage midway through the second period when Turek came out of nowhere to stretch across the crease and rob the diminutive Phoenix centre.

Shane Doan, he of the same draft class as Iginla, caught Stephane Yelle with his head down behind the Calgary net for a thundering hit in the third period.

Iginla had a chance to match Joe Nieuwendyk's five goal performance, the most ever scored by a Flame, with a few seconds of play and the Coyotes having pulled their goaltender. Ironically, Nieuwendyk was effectively traded for Nieuwendyk. Also interesting, on the night Iginla notched his 200th career goal, Nieuwendyk put up his 1000th career point. . . . . . Interviewed by FAN960 before the game, Sutter conceded the Flames need more offense, saying they're nothing more than two lines and a bunch of other guys. He also keyed on the need to get more offence from his defencemen, calling on blueliners to jump into the play more than they have been. . . . . . If Turek isn't the guy in Calgary would Sean Burke be a trade target for Craig Button to pursue? If the Coyotes would trade Burke to St. Louis then why not Calgary, also a Western Conference opponent? But moving Turek out of the way might not be easy. Burke has consistently given Phoenix the kind of goaltending the Flames have craved for a long time. . . . . . . Regehr led the Flames with 24:40 in ice time while Jordan Leopold continued to move from the outhouse to the penthouse with 21:42 of ice time. . . . . Danny Markov led the Coyotes with 25:53 of ice time. . . . . . Flames were an uncharacteristic 47% in the faceoff circle with Craig Conroy leading the team at 56%. Buchberger was 60% for Phoenix. . . . . . . . Sutter is 9-12-5-1 as coach of the Flames.


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