After four years away from the NHL Karri Ramo expected some differences.

The Calgary Flames netminder knew there would be the obvious adjustments upon returning to the league such as the smaller ice surface compared to what's used in Europe.

But he's been more surprised by a change in style of play.

"There's a lot more passing than shooting at least in what I've seen compared to when I was in Tampa" said Ramo who played parts of three seasons for the Tampa Bay Lightning through 2008-09. "A powerplay now there's barely shots. It's the KHL style. Teams are trying to get nice goals.

"When we played against the (New York) Islanders (in Tuesday's pre-season tilt in Regina) and they had those powerplays I was expecting the defencemen to shoot more and the guys on the half-wall to shoot more. There's more holding onto the puck and trying to find the back-door plays. It's getting more European style. Maybe when the season starts it'll change."

Ramo who spent four seasons in the KHL and is pencilled in to be the Flames starting goaltender knew it would take some time to get back in the swing.

The NHL added a couple of degrees of difficulty by changing the allowable height of leg pads and shrinking the size of the nets -- not the area from the front but the size of the base to increase more space behind the cages.

Ramo says he had one inch chopped off his pads so the difference is minor.

"I think it's in my favour -- it helps me move around" Ramo said after Saturday's practice at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre. "I didn't feel a difference. I tried some different pads and they were too stiff and I changed back to my old pads from last year's gear. We got them to pass the testing and it feels good."

Joey MacDonald the likely No. 2 for the Flames is in the same boat.