Mediocre Start to 2011 For The Struggling Calgary Flames
Jay Feaster took over as the Calgary Flames general manager part way through this season but nothing has changed. The Flames remain very mediocre. In fact, their record to start the new year is 3-3-3 and they have been outscored 34 to 23 over those nine games. The Flames currently sit in 14th place in the Western Conference and are eight points out of a playoff spot.
After recording at least one point in all but one game in December Jarome Iginla has cooled off a little. Iginla scored six goals and 15 points in 14 December games. During the month of January he has scored just three goals and seven points and has gone pointless in five games.
Iginla is and will continue to be the Flames best offensive option as he leads the team by nine points. Iginla is on pace for 33 goals and 73 points, which would mean back-to-back seasons of about 70 points. If you own Iginla now is the time to move him as his fantasy value will gradually drop over the next couple of seasons. Iginla is on downside of his offensive years.
Alex Tanguay has gone cold during the month of January. Tanguay has just one goal and three points in January and this is the first month in which he could finish with a negative plus/minus rating as he is sitting at minus eight. On the bright side, Tanguay has found a little bit of his offensive game with the move back to Calgary.
Tanguay is on pace to score 19 goals and 57 points this season, which gives him 20 more points than last season. The days of Tanguay scoring 75-80 points again are gone but he could be a consistent 55-60 point player for the next several years.
The other big offseason signing by former GM Darryl Sutter is off to his lowest goal, point and shot total since the 2001-2002 season. Olli Jokinen is on pace to score 14 goals and 46 points this season. Jokinen is also on pace for a career low plus/minus rating of minus 26. Jokinen has been a complete disappointment this season. There is no place for Jokinen on any fantasy squad right now.
Finally, Miikka Kiprusoff has lost his game. After finishing 2010 with three straight wins and allowing only two goals in each of those wins, he has just two wins in seven 2011 starts.
January has been so bad to Kipper that he was even pulled twice within a six-day span only to watch his replacement, Henrik Karlsson, earn the overtime point for the Flames. Kiprusoff has been an outstanding goaltender since the lockout but this season he is posting just average numbers.
As long as Kiprusoff remains with the Flames this season he should not be your number one goaltender option. Don’t go trading him off your fantasy roster just yet as there are several rumors floating that he could be moved that would instantly increase his fantasy value.
The Flames don’t offer up the same fantasy value as they have in the past and the season is playing out like many predicted. Calgary fans can at least take comfort that they are not New Jersey Devils fans, who are watching their team and a very, very rich star plummet to the bottom of the NHL.
Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of www.fantasyhockeycoach.com. FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge. Brouwer writes about the Calgary Flames on Bleacher Report. You can contact Coach Brouwer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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