SUN Hockey Pool

Iggy always enjoys good cup of Joe

Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom  scores against Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff...

Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom scores against Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and Flames defensman Scott Hannan during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Detroit, Michigan November 23, 2011. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:57 AM ET

DETROIT - Jarome Iginla seems to like The Joe.

The Calgary Flames captain has scored six goals this season, and half of them have come during a pair of visits to Detroit.

But more impressive than his shot through Red Wing goaltender Jimmy Howard’s five-hole in the second period to get the visiting Flames on the scoreboard Wednesday night was his overall effort — still not at the superstar level we saw late last season but pretty decent, including in his own end.

The Flames better hope it’s a sign of good things to come.

AGAINST THE GLASS

Pucks just seem to be finding Red Wings faces these days. On a night Ian White returned from a fractured cheekbone, Drew Miller took a Mark Giordano shot in the mouth in the second period. It deflected right into his chops off his own stick, leaving him a bloody mess ... Wings sniper Johan Franzen was a game-time decision after skipping the morning skate with an undisclosed but minor injury. He was tested early, taking a whack on the hands in the Flames zone and then throwing a check in the corner on his next shift in the first period ... Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie had plenty of family and friends in the stands at The Joe. He had around 20 members of his entourage looking to meet up with him after the game. Brodie grew up across the border in Chatham, Ont., which is only about an hour away from Detroit. “First game I ever came to in the NHL was here. I probably went to five or six of them,” said Brodie, who was a big Steve Yzerman fan. “Detroit was my favourite team growing up, so we always came out and watched.”

IN THE CREASE

Rookie Red Wings blueliner Brendan Smith didn’t suit up, but his NHL experience lasted more than 24 hours longer than he thought it would. Because of an injury to fellow defenceman Brad Stuart, Smith was kept around as insurance, and the 22-year-old found out Tuesday from Wings bench-boss Mike Babcock he would be reassigned to AHL Grand Rapids. “I was still zipping (my bag) up,” he said Wednesday after the morning skate, recounting the tale from the previous day when Babcock yelled out mid-interview to stop packing and that he may play (Wednesday). “I didn’t really know (if he was joking).” … Smith played with Flames prospect John Ramage at the University of Wisconsin, when Ramage was a freshman. The two were blueline partners. “He was fantastic his first year. We played really well together,” Smith said of the now 20-year-old Badgers star. “That was my junior year. He’s kind of a big stay-at-home defenceman. He can do some offensive stuff, but ultimately, he’s very reliable. I like to go jump into the rush a little bit — we complemented each other. I loved playing with him. I think he’s an NHL player. He has to learn some things, but he’s got things you can’t teach — he’s a big, strong boy. Once you’re playing with guys in an NHL dressing room, you’re going to pick up things just from watching. If he gets into something like that, he could be a good defenceman.

PARTING SHOTS

Phil Pritchard, famous keeper of the Stanley Cup (you know? The guy who always wears the white gloves), turned 50 Wednesday. He was taking in the Red Wings game. Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t … Not often Flames G Miikka Kiprusoff lets in a softie, but the Ian White goal that tied things up for the Wings in the second period just got away from him — a long shot that found a hole through traffic ... Flames C Brendan Morrison couldn’t help but enjoy his first goal of the season after his slapshot banked in off the far post to give the visitors a shortlived lead in the second period. It beats the blanking from his first eight games in his initial comeback bid.

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNMacfarlane


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