Ortio relishes chance with Flames after getting called up from Abbotsford Heat
“I’d heard after the game Saturday that Karri had left the game with an injury. At that time, we didn’t know how serious it was. But early Sunday morning, I found out he was going to be out for a while.
“Things have been going well for me in Abbotsford, but, for sure, it’s really exciting.”
Unfortunately, for the Flames, they found out after Saturday’s 4 3 overtime win over the Wild that Karri Ramo would be out until after the 2014 Olympic break with a knee injury. Apparently, his knee twisted awkwardly during a first period penalty kill which re adidas shoes sulted in him unable to finish the opening frame. Reto Berra took over in relief and made 14 saves on 17 shots.
So that means Ramo will miss, at least, these next three games Tuesday at Montreal, Thursday at the New York Islanders, and Saturday at Philadelphia and will hope to return after the NHL resumes play following the evening of Feb. 25.
According to head coach Bob Hartley, the team’s medical staff doesn’t believe Ramo’s injury is that serious. However, it’s serious enough he won’t travel on this trip, explaining the reason for summoning Ortio on Sunday from the Abbotsford Heat.
The Flames will start Berra against the Canadiens on Tuesday, but it sounds like Hartley wouldn’t hesitate to throw Ortio to the wolves in his first regular season NHL game.
“We’ll see,” Hartley said. “He’s played very well in Abbotsford. I talked to Troy and Craig Conroy, who sees him play, and the reports on Joni are very good . . . we’re in the business of playing the ones that perform.”
And, in the Flames’ net, it’s been a toss up between both Ramo and Berra. Three of Calgary’s past four games have seen both of them in action.
“Right now, it seems every game we play, the two goalies get in,” Hartley said. “So, it wouldn’t take much (to put Ortio in). That’s the trend we’re in right now. But, hey, we called him up and we have full confidence in him. He played great in exhibition games.
“We’ll see how it goes.”
Ortio, 22, had started the year in the East Coast Hockey League with the Alaska Aces and played four games before getting called up to the American Hockey League.
He’s played 25 AHL games this season (35 total after one in 2010 11 and nine in 2011 12) and has a record of 19 5 0 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.08 goals against average (fourth best in the league).
Ortio’s win total (19) was leading the AHL for a portion of this season and, now, he currently sits tied for second behind league leader Drew MacIntyre of the Toronto Marlies who has 20 wins. He also rode an impressive 107 minute and 41 second shutout streak until Saturday’s 4 1 win adidas shoes over the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal’s AHL affiliate).
Great stats, but how does that translate at the NHL level?
“I’m ready,” Ortio said. “I’ve felt ready for quite some time. I’ve been playing well and guys have been playing well in Abby and it’s making my job that much easier. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m ready.”
ICE CHIPS . . . D Kris Russell, who was a game time scratch against the visit adidas shoes ing Wild on Saturday, should be good to adidas shoes go against the Habs. “He did good in practice and was shooting well,” Hartley confirmed on Monday. “Probably (Tuesday) morning, we’re going to make a final decision since he did the contract drills an felt great. He was skating good. I’m hoping he’s in the lineup (Tuesday).” . . . Upon the Flames’ call up of Ortio, the Abbotsford Heat signed G Thomas Heemskerk, a former WHL netminder (Kootenay Ice, Everett Silvertips, Moose Jaw Warriors) who was toiling with the CHL’s Quad City Mallards . . . With the recall of Ortio, the Flames dispatched C Ben Street to Abbotsford . . . Flames forward Mikael Backlund was named the NHL’s third star of the week for the period ending Feb. 2.
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