Flames ‘sick and tired of the musical chairs’ in net, says Hartley


The goalie situation in Calgary doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

The Flames are off to a 1-4 start and sit bottom-five in both GAA and save percentage, while still carrying three netminders — none of whom have made the case for the starting gig.

And it’s starting to annoy head coach Bob Hartley.

After Jonas Hiller allowed five goals on 28 shots in Saturday’s loss to Edmonton, Hartley said he’ll go back to Karri Ramo for Tuesday’s date against the Capitals — meaning the Flames will have a new starter for the fourth straight game.

Clearly, Hartley wants to see one of his netminders get on a roll, but neither Ramo nor Hiller has been able to.

Which begs the question: What about Joni Ortio?

Throughout this lackluster start, Ortio has sat idly by without getting a minute of action. The Flames originally kept him up because sending him down to the AHL would require a trip through waivers, and conventional thought suggested someone would snag the 24-year-old, who was named to the American League’s all-rookie team in ’13-14.

With the way things are going, shouldn’t Ortio get a shot at playing?

The Finn said in training camp he was looking to “steal that No. 1 job” and obviously believes he’s on par with Hiller and Ramo. The Flames must think it too, as GM Brad Treliving opted to keep all three guys — even though he said “a wise man one told me there’s only one net,” and “carrying three goalies, you can do it for a short period of time, it doesn’t make sense.”

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

The Flames have two games left on their current home stand — against the Caps and Red Wings — before embarking on a tough stretch. From Oct. 25-Nov. 15, the team will play nine of 12 on the road, which includes difficult games against the Rangers, Islanders, Lightning, Caps and Blackhawks.

In short, it won’t get any easier on the goalies.

Related: Struggling Flames need to ‘get the ball rolling’

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.