GOALTENDING BATTLE CONTINUES
The Flames will go with veteran Joey MacDonald in net tonight, a move Bob Hartley said is a part of the on-going battle for the starting gig.
"Given that the goalie battle is not set yet, there is no one in this organization has came out and said, 'One guy is clearly our number one.' The battle keeps going on," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said in his post-practice media address.
"That's exactly the message we gave Reto Berra also. I thought that we were very clear with the three goalies. We don't have an established number one yet and we're still looking for one."
Berra was assigned to the Abbotsford Heat in the Flames last round of training camp cuts. He currently is battling Joni Ortio for the starting job with Calgary's AHL affiliate. Laurent Brossoit, who had been assigned to Heat a couple of weeks ago, has been assigned the Alaska Aces and will likely shoulder the bulk of the goaltending duties with the Flames ECHL affiliate.
Ramo got the start in the season opener in Washington last night, making 35 saves in a 5-4 shootout setback to the Capitals.
"He was okay," Hartley said of the Finn's first regular season game with the organization. "I thought that he had a good start.
"I can't fault him on any goals. There was the Ovechkin goal on the [power play] - it hits Brodie's stick and changes direction. It always kind of handcuffs goalies. I can't blame him at all."
LINEUP CHANGES POSSIBLE
Due to bumps and bruises suffered in Washington, the Flames may opt to make a few lineup changes tonight.
"We have a few bumps but nothing is sure yet," Hartley said.
"Right now, our medical staff are evaluating certain players and they'll let us know later [if they're okay to play.]"
If a forward is unable to go tonight, newly acquired pivot Joe Colborne will likely make his Flames debut. The 23-year-old sat with Craig Conroy in Washington, taking in the game and absorbing the style Hartley utilizes as he tries to get acclimatized to his new team.
"The challenge is much bigger for Joe because it's kind of an unfair situation because he didn't get the three weeks of training camp," Hartley explained. "We sat with him and we were very clear that we would kind of fast-forward him in order to cover the three weeks of camp that we had."
Colborne was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs last Saturday in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. He has played 16 games in the NHL, scoring one goal and six points in that span.
"I'm excited to see how Baertschi does this year. I think he's going to have a big year. I've read some comments about him lately and I thought he was a great player when I was there. I'm excited to see how he does." - Former Flame Blake Comeau on rookie Sven Baertschi
The Flames head back to Calgary after the game tonight to prepare for the home opener. The Flames host the Vancouver Canucks at 6:00 PM MST (SNET-W, FAN 960) on Sunday.
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