Ramo's play has him pushing for starting spot

Tuesday, 24.09.2013 / 12:45 AM
Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)

CALGARY, AB -- Karri Ramo isn't keeping tabs on how close he is to becoming the starting goaltender of the Calgary Flames.

So after the 27-year-old Finnish netminder kicked out 27 shots in a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night, he didn't concern himself with his current position on the Flames' depth chart in net.

"That's not my job to think about that," said Ramo, battling with Joey MacDonald and Reto Berra for the gig. "It goes to the coaching and management to think about that. I just have to [do] everything that I can on and off the ice, (so) that they will choose me."

He has been doing that.

Re-adjusting to North American ice after spending the past four season with Omsk Avangard of the Kontinental Hockey League, Ramo has improved with every outing.

It's a continual process that has the 6-foot stopper feeling more comfortable with his play each day.

"Every day you learn more and more and we get to know the angles and get to know the shooters in our own practice and from our practice you build confidence going into the games," Ramo said. "We just have to keep doing that."

At the Rangers expense, Ramo rolled on and gave Flames coach Bob Hartley what he wanted to see from Monday's start.

"Karri gave us a very big game, solid," Hartley said. "He came up with the big saves at the right time. I felt that we protected the front of the net fairly well but the thing that I wanted to see from him was that he felt confident on every shot and that's exactly what we saw."

Matt Stajan, who had a goal and two assists in the contest, certainly felt comfortable in front of his potential new No. 1 against New York.

"We played well in the first and he didn't see much action and then in the second, we were very sloppy and he came up with some key point-blank saves. Those are the saves that change momentum and keeps our team in it. We were able to get that third one and take over the game again. Good on him.

"It's his first game in this building and he stepped up and we need that from him and we need that from whoever's in net."

Ramo's likely played his last preseason minute as Berra will get the start against the Phoenix Coyotes in Calgary's final tune-up game.

Whether it's Berra, Ramo or MacDonald who starts on October 3rd against the Washington Capitals remains to be seen.

But Ramo's win against the Rangers could give him the inside track.

"He's working hard like [MacDonald] and Reto," Hartley said. "We're very happy with the three guys but certainly tonight he gave us a very good game."

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