Two straight wins followed by three straight losses and repeat has been the Calgary Flames’ theme for the month of March.
On Friday, the Flames were beaten 5-1 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus extended its streak to a team-best 12th straight game with a point.
Meanwhile, things aren’t going well in Calgary. The Flames’ 11-14-4 record – and 26 points – is identical to that of the Colorado Avalanche, as they duel to stay out of the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
The Flames’ veteran goalie Miikka Kiprusoff wasn’t happy with the loss to Columbus and seems to be doing a slow boil about continued struggles in his play and that of his teammates in front of him.
“It was a tough night,” Kiprusoff told the Calgary Sun.
“As a goalie, five goals is no excuses, but I think they did get quite many quality chances tonight. Pretty tough game.
“It’s not pointing fingers. We are a team here. Five goals, it’s a tough game.”
Kiprusoff, 36, has allowed five goals in each of his last two starts – both losses for the Flames.
That’s a combined 10 goals on 51 shots in two games. But the problems aren’t necessarily all on the goaltender.
“As a goalie, you’re always the last guy standing. But the chances we’re giving … we can blame the goalie if that’s our wish but I don’t blame Miikka one bit,” Flames coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Herald.
“We don’t give him a chance and we’ve giving up point-blank chances. We’re in the NHL. Those guys know how to shoot pucks.’’
Chicago Blackhawks fans, start your engines!
Yes, according to MotorSportsTalk, the Blackhawks have become the main sponsor of CJ Wilson Racing’s No. 35 car, a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, for the upcoming IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Road America next month.
That’s a sweet ride.
The partnership will officially launch at the United Center on Wednesday, August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m in advance of Saturday’s race. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car, meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard, and have their picture taken.
The race takes place Aug. 6 at Road America in Wisconsin.
Since being selected by the Coyotes at 13th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brandon Gormley has had a difficult time breaking into the league on a full-time basis.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old Gormley joined his third NHL team, signing with the New Jersey Devils on a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL level, the club announced.
Despite his draft status, Gormley has yet to play a full season in the big league, although this deal could give him an opportunity to end that. For the Devils, the deal adds more depth to the blue line in the organization and for a friendly price.
Last season, Gormley split time between the Colorado Avalanche and its farm team, the San Antonio Rampage. Despite some high expectations about where he could fit on the Avs’ blue line, he was eventually put on waivers in January.
He ended the season with one assist in 26 games with the Avalanche, and hit the open market after Colorado didn’t give him a qualifying offer.
After ongoing contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and restricted free agent defenseman Matt Dumba, the two sides have come to a deal.
The Wild announced Thursday that they had signed Dumba to a two-year deal, worth a total value of $5.1 million.
A breakdown of the new deal:
— In 2016-17: $2.35 million.
— In 2017-18: $2.75 million.
Selected seventh overall by the Wild in 2012, Dumba had his most productive campaign this past season, with 10 goals and 26 points in 81 games.
Known for his offensive skills — he had 20 goals and 57 points with Red Deer in the WHL in his draft year — Dumba also brings a coveted right-shot to the Wild blue line, which features four players with contracts of four or more years of term remaining.
As per General Fanager, the Wild still have $2.168 million in projected cap space, but they have secured all their remaining restricted free agents.
The New York Rangers announced that they’ve re-signed Marek Hrivik to a new contract. The term and financial details of the deal were not released.
Hrivik signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent in May 2012. The 24-year-old made his NHL debut in 2015-16 and ended up playing five games for the Rangers. He had one assist and a plus-3 rating during his time in the NHL.
The young forward was an important part of New York’s AHL affiliate in Hartford. Hrivik finished his AHL campaign with 12 goals and 29 assists. He tied for the team lead in assists and finished third in points.
If you go by Hrivik’s tweet, it appears as though he signed a one-year contract:
Now that Hrivik is re-signed, the Rangers have no more free agents of any kind, per General Fanager.