News and notes from around the blue paint…
Giguere in against Pittsburgh
In what could be their biggest test of this young season, the Colorado Avalanche are turning to veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Monday night in Pittsburgh.
Giguere, 36, will start his second straight contest after Semyon Varlamov played in six of the first seven games of the season. Giguere was in goal for Saturday’s 4-2 win over Buffalo, a game in which he stopped 28 of 30 shots for his second win of the season.
Ramo back for another
In an interesting move, the Calgary Flames are going back to Kari Ramo tonight in Los Angeles.
Ramo, 27, played just his second game of the season on Saturday — a 6-3 loss to San Jose — which was a bit of a deceiving game, in that he allowed five goals on 35 shots but actually played well, making a number of difficult stops on a Sharks team that dominated proceedings.
Ramo will get the goal tonight before Calgary turns back to Joey MacDonald for Tuesday’s contest in Phoenix.
The dream of going undefeated in regulation during the regular season is over for the Calgary Flames.
The Flames dropped a 3-2 decision on the road against the Anaheim Ducks, giving the visitors from Alberta their first regulation loss of this season.
Calgary’s record now stands at 3-1-2. The loss comes even after the Flames outshot the Ducks 35-22, and that’s including 28-12 over the final two periods.
The Ducks’ winning goal came off the stick of 43-year-old Teemu Selanne, who had gone to the bench for a new stick after breaking his original seconds earlier. No sooner did he get back into the play, he found himself going in all alone on Flames goalie Joey MacDonald. (Click here to watch the video)
Selanne buried his shot five-hole on MacDonald, giving the Ducks a 3-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Anaheim Ducks’ forward Teemu Selanne showed some veteran savvy when he scored his first goal of the season Wednesday.
In the second period against the Calgary Flames, Selanne had gone to the bench to get a new stick after breaking his original, and as the play transitioned through the neutral zone, the 43-year-old right winger found himself on a breakaway mere seconds after entering back into the play with a new twig.
Selanne had originally broken his stick after slashing the stick of Flames defenseman Mark Giordano. After being sent in on the breakaway, he beat goalie Joey MacDonald through the legs.
Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley will have a lot of decisions to make this year. One of them centers around how to best replace recently retired Miikka Kiprusoff in goal.
As of now, he hasn’t made any decisions about anything.
“We’re not set yet on our 23 (man roster). We are not set on our No. 1 goalie or our No. 2 goalie,” he told reporters.
“We want to make sure that we watch those guys. We watch those guys in meetings. We watch them on the ice. We watch them in the gym. We do video with them and then we go back on the ice the next day with a certain drill that will tell us if they get it or not.”
His choices in goal aren’t exactly going to wow anyone.
Journeyman Joey MacDonald, recent KHL exile Karri Ramo, and young Swiss goalie Reto Berra are still in the hunt for the top job. Ramo and Berra have gotten the bulk of the starts in the preseason which could point at who will back MacDonald up or it just tells us the Flames want to know what they’ve got in them.
While other teams have a defined No. 1 goalie or are set to split things up, any one of those three could wind up being the top guy in Calgary. Unless someone seizes the job and comes out of nowhere, it could (will?) be a long year for the Flames.
Calgary coach Bob Hartley knows he has three goalies — Joey MacDonald, Karri Ramo and Reto Berra — auditioning for the starting gig.
What Hartley doesn’t know is who’ll be his No. 1.
“Still don’t know,” Hartley told the Calgary Sun over the weekend. “They’ll have, basically, to prove themselves on a daily basis.”
Unlike his decision on Calgary’s captaincy — Hartley said he knew who his choice would be days before naming Mark Giordano — the goaltending choice seems to be legitimately up in the air.
MacDonald, 33, has the most NHL experience (122 career games) and appeared in 21 contests for Calgary last season. So it’s likely he’s got the inside edge.
That said, the Flames made a big financial investment in Ramo (two years, $5.5 million) after he captured back-to-back KHL All-Star nods. The Finnish netminder hasn’t played in the NHL since 2009, but was only 23 back then.
The darkhorse appears to be Berra, the 26-year-old Swiss phenom who starred in the National League A and for Team Switzerland at the 2013 Worlds.
To hear Hartley explain it, though, there’s no favorite and there’s no darkhorse. Just an open competition.
“They’re all in the same boat right now,” he explained. “I can’t say that one is ahead of the other.
“It’s a three-man battle.”
Or maybe it’s a two man battle? From Sportsnet’s Darren Millard…