The Calgary Flames goaltending situation has been a question the team has struggled to deal with since starter Miikka Kiprusoff sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee during a game in Detroit on Feb. 5 and was subsequently placed on injured reserve.


In the week since the team’s star’s injury, back up Leland Irving has filled in admirably.  According to sources Kiprusoff skated alone testing the knee Monday morning  and the feedback couldn’t have been what general manager Jay Feaster was hoping for, regardless of what is said publicly.


On Monday the Flames announced they had claimed 33-year-old goalie Joey MacDonald off waivers from the Red Wings.  The acquisition raises the obvious questions regarding Kiprusoff’s recovery time, and how the Flames feel a veteran goaltender with a history of back issues (Macdonald hasnt played since mid-March because of a bulging disc) fits into their already crowded crease.


Feaster did not speak to reporters Monday to explain the move that brought the number of Flames goaltenders to four. The team also signed minor-leaguer Danny Taylor (who has yet to make a start for the Flames) to an NHL contract the day after Kiprusoff’s injury to back up Irving.


A Flames spokesman said Feaster would address the goaltending situation on Tuesday.


Head coach Bob Hartley deferred player personnel queries Monday to his GM. Irvine and Taylor participated in Calgary’s pre-game skate prior to hosting the Minnesota Wild, while MacDonald was scheduled to arrive in Calgary in the evening.


Beginning Monday the Flames began a stretch of  five games in eight days  and ten in the next seventeen.  The  goaltending moves may just be depth related while heading into a tough stretch, but untill Kiprusoff steps back onto the ice as the starting netminder Flames fans have a right to be concerned.


In a shortened season such as this one goaltending has never been more important, and for Calgary’s sake Miikka needs to get back between the pipes or there is little chance the Flames will have much success in the near future.



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