Flames goalie anxious to get on a roll

 

Ramo looking to take advantage of some game action

 
 
 
 
Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald Calgary, AB; NOVEMBER 21, 2014  -- Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames skates during practice  in Calgary on Friday November 21, 2014. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald) For Sports story by Scott Cruickshank. Trax # 00060615A
 
 

Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald Calgary, AB; NOVEMBER 21, 2014 -- Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames skates during practice in Calgary on Friday November 21, 2014. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald) For Sports story by Scott Cruickshank. Trax # 00060615A

Photograph by: Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald

Most observers, if pressed, can recall the events of April 7 in Newark, N.J. Not surprisingly, Bob Hartley requires no hints, no prodding.

“I remember,” the Calgary Flames coach says with a knowing — and rather large — grin.

That night, Hartley had the privilege of watching his goalie, in hot-handed fashion, parry 31 pucks and carry his squad to a 1-0 triumph over the playoff-pushing New Jersey Devils.

Karri Ramo, of course, is also packing fond memories.

But dwell on that late-season gem? The undeniable high point of his first year with the Flames?

No chance.

“An awful long time ago,” says Ramo, who — not coincidentally — gets the call Saturday when the Devils visit the Scotiabank Saddledome. “But I try not to think about it too much. Because if I think about the good game, then I also think about the bad game I played against some team. Then it comes back and haunts you.

“So I keep it to one game and (being) more focused on what I’m doing right now than what I did six months ago.”

Hartley, though, says it’s only natural for a netminder to have previous feats of puck-stopping — both stellar and stinker — lodged in the back of his mind.

“Lots of time, it’s a good setup because goalies draw confidence from those games,” says the coach. “It’s funny — goalies will play better in certain buildings, they’ll play better against certain teams. I remember dealing a lot with Patrick (Roy). Patrick would say, ‘That’s my favourite building,’ or, ‘That’s my least favourite building.’

“You always have to try to put your athletes in a position where they can succeed.”

In preparing for Saturday’s assignment, Ramo isn’t combing the best-of section of the video archives. Instead, he’s busily studying footage of his most recent action — last week’s 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

But goalie coach Jordan Sigalet, who spent last winter in Abbotsford, couldn’t resist taking a peek at evidence of Ramo’s heroics against the Devils.

“I thought it was unbelievable,” says Sigalet. “Karri has the ability to steal games like that.”

After Ramo’s second career shutout, raves had come bubbling out of both dressing rooms.

From the hosts’ bath-house, Jaromir Jagr noted: “I think it’s the best I’ve seen anybody play in one game. It doesn’t matter who would be on the ice, there was no way we were going to score. Just a perfect game by him.”

And Flames winger Curtis Glencross supplied perhaps even a finer compliment.

“You’re starting to see signs of a little Kippy in him,” Glencross, referring to Miikka Kiprusoff, said that night. “I almost get flashbacks. I played with Kipper for six years, right? Some of those saves, you just look down the bench and say, ‘How did he save that one again?’ Just like we used to say with Kipper.”

Of course, anyone with aspirations of becoming the Next Anything needs a platform lasting more than one night.

“He’s been working hard and waiting for his chance to get his starts,” Sigalet says of Ramo. “It’s hard when you’re only playing once every five or six games.”

This season, Ramo has yet to make back-to-back appearances. At one point, he saw Jonas Hiller trotted out for five straight starts.

And, no matter what happens Saturday, the Finn won’t get consecutive nods now, either.

Hiller is assured of Tuesday’s contest at Anaheim, while Ramo takes over the crease again Wednesday in San Jose.

So getting traction, finding that groove, is no simple task.

“Well, obviously, it’s easier when you get more games,” says Ramo, 28. “You don’t really have to think that much — you just go out and play. You don’t have to think about anything else. When you’re not playing, certainly it’s tougher.

“But, you know, it’s part of the game. It’s part of being a hockey player. It’s part of being a goalie.”

Then again, there’s the case of Cory Schneider, who, through 20 games, has started every single night for New Jersey (a spree of dependence that breaks Martin Brodeur’s club record).

Too much?

“Well, I don’t know,” says Ramo, smiling. “You like to play. I think every goalie is ready to play 82 games. But if you know you’re going to play 82 games, that’s how you prepare, that’s how you practise.

“I’m sure many goalies would like to do that.”

scruickshank@calgaryherald.com

 
 
 
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Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald Calgary, AB; NOVEMBER 21, 2014  -- Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames skates during practice  in Calgary on Friday November 21, 2014. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald) For Sports story by Scott Cruickshank. Trax # 00060615A
 

Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald Calgary, AB; NOVEMBER 21, 2014 -- Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames skates during practice in Calgary on Friday November 21, 2014. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald) For Sports story by Scott Cruickshank. Trax # 00060615A

Photograph by: Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald

 
Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald Calgary, AB; NOVEMBER 21, 2014  -- Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames skates during practice  in Calgary on Friday November 21, 2014. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald) For Sports story by Scott Cruickshank. Trax # 00060615A
Jenn Pierce, Calgary Herald Calgary, AB; NOVEMBER 21, 2014  -- Karri Ramo #31 of the Calgary Flames makes a save against teammate Brandon Bollig #25 during practice  in Calgary on Friday November 21, 2014. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald) For Sports story by Scott Cruickshank. Trax # 00060615A
 
 
 
 
 
 
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