After waiting patiently for 22 days between starts, Karri Ramo has now backstopped the Calgary Flames to two wins in a row. But it’s the long-term plan that’s more important. Back-to-back wins over the Los Angeles Kings, a 21-save effort, and the Phoenix Coyotes, an even more impressive 29-save performance Wednesday night, is just a byproduct of the deep-rooted intention to develop a franchise goaltender. Swiss puckstopper Reto Berra was given an eight-start string, with mixed reviews, and now, it seems, it’s Ramo’s turn, as the Finn will get the call for a third straight game Friday when the Flames host the Colorado Avalanche. “For me, and the organization, is how can we make them No. 1 goalies in the NHL? And the only way to make them is to give them strings of games,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley said following Thursday’s skate at the Saddledome. “Put them in the No. 1 chair and say, ‘Can you carry us for six, seven, eight, nine games like a Mike Smith or a Marty Brodeur or a Carey Price or all those guys?’ That’s what we want to create over here, and I think it’s a positive challenge for both of them.” While Berra managed a 2-4-2 record during his stretch of starts and currently sits dead last among NHL goaltenders with a 3.51 goals-against average and less-than-sparkling .888 save percentage, Ramo has grabbed the proverbial ball and gone for a quick jog. To a man, Flames defenders were impressed with Ramo’s ability to sift through traffic and make the timely save during Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the ’Yotes at the Dome, and the 27-year-old seems poised to quickly erase a so-so start to his second NHL stint, after a four-year sojourn in the KHL.
Karri Ramo makes most of chance as Flames look out for No. 1 goalie
Calgary Sun | Dec 7