Calgary Flames goalie Karri Ramo has had to do a lot of watching from the bench as of late, but he certainly made the most of his latest start against the Los Angeles Kings. After Reto Berra had made eight straight starts for the team, Ramo got the call against the Kings and turned in a solid performance in a 2-1 victory. Mike Cammalleri netted the game winner with just 23 seconds left in regulation. Ramo turned aside 21 of 22 shots and showed plenty of composure between the pipes.
The win was a welcome one for an injury-decimated squad. The Flames improved to 9-13-4 on the campaign and earned a split of their short California road trip. Defenseman T.J. Brodie turned in quite a performance as the young blueliner netted nearly 30 minutes of ice time. A defensive core already without Dennis Wideman and Mark Giordano because of injuries, had to make do without the services of Ladislav Smid when he received a boarding major and a game misconduct in the second period for a hit on Dwight King.
Strangely enough, Ramo only has recorded three wins this season and two of them have come against the Kings at Staples Center. Ramo was given an opportunity to showcase his talents at the start of the season with Joey MacDonald but head coach Bob Hartley and team brass weren’t pleased with what they were getting from that duo. As a result, Berra was called up from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat while MacDonald was sent down.
Since that call-up, the Swiss netminder has had a very heavy workload and has shown strong athleticism and compete levels. However, Berra has also shown to be a little too active which has led to him being out of position at times, and while being able to make acrobatic saves, has also shown a tendency for allowing soft goals at critical times.
Ramo replaced Berra in a mop-up role during a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks and didn’t allow a goal. His follow-up performance against the Kings will hopefully lead to more consistency on his part. His numbers still aren’t up to snuff with a G-A-A of 3.23 and a save percentage of .890. However, his effort against the Kings was a strong case to see more playing time and maybe he’s gained back a little confidence from his head coach.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports