There’s no denying that the brilliant play of now retired netminder Miikka Kiprusoff was going to be a very difficult element to replace this season for the Calgary Flames. However, the organization is finding it even more difficult, due to the struggles of Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald. MacDonald was placed on waivers after a tough outing Friday night in 4-3 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The veteran had a 3.17 Goals Against Average in seven games and a save percentage of a less than stellar .885. Ramo’s numbers are even worse, with a Goals Against Average of 3.49, but he is the one who will stay with the parent club.
The Flames have recalled Reto Berra from their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford. His save percentage with the Abbotsford Heat was over .900 and his Goals Against Average was a respectable 2.66. He’s bound to get a good look during this upcoming four game road trip. In fact, he will be making his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks. The 26-year-old netminder was a previous standout in Switzerland’s top professional league; you couldn’t ask for a tougher team for his first NHL regular season assignment. The defending Stanley Cup champions have scored 16 goals during their current three game win streak. Berra’s NHL rights were acquired by the Flames in a deal that sent Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues last season. He was subsequently signed to an entry-level contract.
Flames head coach Bob Hartley talked about the need to get a big save or two, and his frustration stems from losses on their recent home stand to both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Red Wings, where they out-shot and out-chanced their opponents. The Flames are finding the going to be tough in a very strong Pacific division, and it will only be more difficult if the men between the pipes don’t step it up. Berra is now about to get the opportunity to show what he’s all about.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports