Photo: AP

Has Jarome Iginla been traded yet? No? Just checking…

What about now?

It seems that whenever things go south in Calgary the entire hockey media north of the border asserts, en masse, that a deal is imminent. It’s the solution for everything — like duct tape, or chicken soup, or re-booting. Or at least, that’s what the hockey elite in Canada seem to think.

A trade still hasn’t happened. Maybe they’re right? Calgary has been the annual whipping boy of the Canadian press for quite some time. The Flames have made it past the Conference quarter-finals in the playoffs only once since 1992-93, and have been playing golf in April 9 times in that stretch. Jarome Iginla can’t have been the cause of all of that.

But unless a trade happens in the next few hours, we will be facing Iginla tonight along with the rest of the Flames. Some other guys will be there too, like Olli “Skeletor” Jokinen, Curtis Glencross, and Alex Tanguay — all forwards with 9 or more points and a negative +/- rating (as does Iginla, mind you). Some defensemen will be there also, although with the best of your blueline corps boasting a mere +1 on the season, it’s hard to declare them to be a force to be reckoned with.

And between the pipes we will likely be up against Mikka Kiprusoff once more, who is off to a reasonable start from a statistics point of view, though his 7-7-0 record doesn’t reflect that. He’s holding up his end of the bargain, and the Flames are middle-of-the-pack in goals against. So what’s the issue here?

The problem is on offense: the Flames are third-last in the league in goals per game. When the Flames lose, they score either 0 or 1 goal. Get them past that, and most often they win. It’s been this way since the second week of the season. And the key seems to be shots on goal — Calgary is in the bottom 5 teams in shots, and their shooting percentage sucks just as bad.

Tough to be a goalie on this team, it would seem. And Kipper is about to meet the league juggernaut: the Chicago Blackhawks are in the top 5 in shooting percentage, and in FIRST PLACE in shots on goal. Betcha didn’t know that.

Has Iginla been traded yet? No? Okay…

There was a little shuffling of the deck in the Blackhawks lineup these last few days. Everyone saw this coming a mile away, but overpaid and under-talented winger Rostislav Olesz and his $3 million salary was placed on waivers, and then sent to Rockford after clearing waivers on Thursday. The hint of the call-up target was plain as day when winger Ben Smith was scratched from the IceHogs’ lineup at the last minute on Wednesday night. And sure enough, Smith joined the team on Thursday and is expected to play on Friday, mainly because…

There is injury news also. Michael Frolik has sustained some kind of problem, and is a question mark for the Calgary game. This will all play out during the morning skate and subsequent press scrum afterwards, so check in with us on Twitter to catch the latest.

Speaking of injuries, Brent Seabrook is still a no-go for Friday, though word now is that he may be ready by the time the team hits the California leg of the Circus Trip. Only time will tell.

Beyond that, there’s little more to say than we all hope the Vancouver performance will continue on all fronts, and we can extend this winning streak through the Alberta swing. Four games and counting: let’s make if five, gentlemen.

8:00pm start time at the ScotiaBank Saddle Dome tonight. Comcast SportsNet has your TV coverage; WGN AM-720 to hear the game on broadcast radio; channel 212 for those of you listening on XM; and Sirius Premiere customers can find the game on channel 211.

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