Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. NHL.com already broke down the Western Conference Second Round matchup between Frederik Andersen of the Anaheim Ducks and former Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller of the Calgary Flames, but Calgary switched to Karri Ramo during a Game 1 loss and is sticking with him for Game 2. It’s a significant switch in goaltending styles, so NHL.com added this pre-scout of the more dynamic Ramo.
Much like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, NHL.com correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored against Ramo this season with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. The graphics showing where goals went in and shots were taken from on the ice are nice, but the real value is tracking and analyzing the types of plays that led to them, and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.
Ramo is almost the anti-Hiller in terms of how he plays the position and presents a totally different challenge for the Ducks, who may have to adjust their attacking tactics. Where Hiller calmly relied more on patience and deeper positioning to keep his body in front of the play, Ramo plays a lot more aggressively, often on top of his crease, and relies on athleticism to make up for the extra space he has to recover. Where Hiller makes more blocking saves, even on the glove side, Ramo, like most Finnish goalies, catches a lot more pucks with an active glove. Where Hiller keeps rebounds close and in front of him, they come off Ramo more actively and often at more acute angles. None of it will matter if the Flames don't tighten up in front of their net after allowing the Ducks to have their way in Game 1, but if they do, Anaheim will need to adjust how it tries to score.