Given how low expectations were for this year, Calgary’s actually had a fairly decent campaign — and one of the best developments has come in goal.
Karri Ramo, acquired in the Mike Cammalleri-Rene Bourque deal two years ago, has emerged as the club’s go-to starter this year and seems to have a firm grasp on the gig for next year, too.
“I love Karri,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley said, per the Calgary Sun. “I think he’s positioned himself very well for the number one job next year.”
Calgary went into this season with major question marks in goal following the retirement of Miikka Kiprusoff, the veteran Finnish netminder that provided years of quality goaltending (most famously during the 2004 Stanley Cup run.) The job appeared to be up for grabs between Ramo, Joey MacDonald, Reto Berra and Joni Ortio — but after missing 15 games with a knee injury, Ramo returned in fine form and took grasp of the No. 1 gig.
More, from the Sun:
Ramo has been nothing short of brilliant — especially at the Saddledome — since returning to the team late last month.
In four home starts, Ramo has gone 3-1 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. He’s been named the first star in the trio of wins and second star in the one loss — all against playoff teams.
The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder has established career-highs in every category and takes an impressive 17-13-4 record into the final weekend of the season.
The similarities between Ramo and Kiprusoff probably aren’t lost on the Flames. Ramo kicked around the Lightning organization for a few years — with little success — before heading to the KHL, then returning to the NHL at 27.
Kiprusoff’s breakthrough campaign came after he left the Sharks and joined the Flames…at the age of 27.