February 5, 2013
Francis: Flames ponder life without Kipper

Young Leland Irving came in to mop up Tuesday night after Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled with a lower-body injury. SUN file photo.

Ever wonder what life would be like without Miikka Kiprusoff giving the Calgary Flames at least a fighting chance almost every night?

Looks like Flames fans might just find out.

An otherwise encouraging night for the Flames was marred two-thirds through when Kiprusoff did not start the third period of a 4-1 win in Detroit due to a lower-body injury.

While tests were being run on him last night, the development sparked an intensified search for another Flames netminder.

Following the trade of Henrik Karlsson, the Flames have spent the last few weeks beating the bushes for an NHL-calibre goalie to back up Kiprusoff.

After all, the Flames don't have another North American netminder under contract, and KHL star Karri Ramo is still months from having his Russian stint terminated. (The final KHL game last year was April 26 -- same day as the Flames' last regular season game this year).