After a tough month, it’s win-and-you’re-in time for Flames goalies


Glen Gulutzan is taking the starting-goalie decision out of his own hands. After a tough month for both Calgary Flames netminders, it’s win-and-you’re-in time for Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson.

From the Calgary Sun:

If the Flames score a victory, the starting goalie keeps the crease for another night. And if they lose, his partner-in-pads gets the next nod.

“It brings out competition, it brings out focus and it puts some pressure on them, too,” Gulutzan said after Monday’s late-afternoon practice at the Saddledome, their return to the rink after the three-day getaway. “Both guys, I know, can handle pressure. I’ve done that before in teams that I’ve coached where I’ve had two good goalies, and they like to push each other for it. I think that’s a good thing for our group right now.”

As mentioned, January was a tough month for both goalies. Elliott’s season-long struggles continued, as he went 2-3-1 with an. 892 save percentage. Johnson, so strong early on, also had issues. His record was 3-4-0 with an .887 save percentage.

In reality, the new plan won’t change much. Gulutzan has been riding the hottest hand for much of the season, and the Flames 1) don’t have a back-to-back until later in the month, and 2) get their bye week halfway through the month.

In other words, it’s not like fatigue will be a factor. It’s simply a motivational tactic, an effort to get one of the goalies in a groove.

Elliott will get the nod tomorrow at home to Minnesota. He went into the All-Star break feeling good about himself, after stopping 25 of 27 shots in a 3-2 OT win at Ottawa.

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