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Flames goalie Ramo running with shot at crease

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

He really doesn’t have that typical goalie personality. It’s his calming influence, whether he gives up a bad goal, whether he gets run and the goal maybe should’ve been disallowed … none of that flusters him ... You can’t ask anything more from a goalie and as a team he really calms us down.Joe Colborne

CALGARY, AB -- A single shot stopped practice Sunday.

Working through line rushes, an errant puck caught Karri Ramo up high, sending the Calgary Flames goaltender tumbling to the ice in a bit of pain.

But, according to coach Bob Hartley, all is good.

“He just took a shot. He’s alright,” Hartley said. “In the neck area. He’s alright.

“I saw it. I was right in the line of the shot so I knew exactly. I stopped the play right away. I hate to see guys get injured. (Josh) Jooris just took a puck right in the mouth right before. After this, I said, ‘That’s enough.’

“That’s the game that we play. In a perfect world there shouldn’t be any injuries but we know that’s not the way it is. [Ramo] is a warrior and he’s going to be okay.”

It’s encouraging news with what Ramo has brought to the Flames of late.

He’s started 14 of the 16 games since Dec. 1, recording a .930 save percentage along the way. Ramo added a personal best shutout streak of 152:55 between Dec. 31-Jan. 5, eclipsing his previous career-high for time between goals against of 142:59, set from Nov. 22-Dec. 2, 2014.

He’s allowed two goals or fewer in eight of his past 12 starts, too.

“He’s been great,” centre Matt Stajan said. “Obviously when you have a goalie playing the way [Ramo] has, you’re going to have a chance to win every night. He’s done a great job. He’s getting a heavy load with playing the majority of games and he keeps himself ready. He’s always working off the ice. He reads the game so well on the ice that he’s able to make big saves at the right times. We’re lucky to have him playing the way he is. Hopefully we can see more of that.”

Ramo cleared waivers and was assigned to Stockton of the American Hockey League on Oct. 22.

Since being recalled Oct. 29, he has started 26 of 30 games for the Flames.

“He doesn’t change,” Stajan said. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders. Whether it’s the start of the year where he went through everything with going to Stockton for a few days to the way he’s playing now. He’s the same guy. He approaches everything the same. He hasn’t changed at all. That consistency is what helps him having success throughout his career. That’s why he’s been able to do what he’s doing right now. It’s great for us.”

Ramo has ran with the string of successful starts following an incredibly brief stint with Calgary’s minor-league affiliate.

It wasn’t the case earlier on, which is why he spent one game -- 20 minutes -- in a California trip that ended because of an injury to fellow netminder Jonas Hiller. The 29-year-old started the season with a 4.27 GAA and .868 save percentage in four starts before hitting waivers, clearing, and given the assignment to Stockton.

He’s rebounded to push his season totals to a 2.52 GAA and .914 save percentage, a drastic contrast to a sluggish start.

His presence has been calming.

“He really doesn’t have that typical goalie personality,” forward Joe Colborne said. “It’s his calming influence, whether he gives up a bad goal, whether he gets run and the goal maybe should’ve been disallowed … none of that flusters him. It’s just the same [Ramo] going out there regardless of what’s going on in the past, what’s going on outside of the rink, what’s happened earlier in the game…it doesn’t affect him at all. You can’t ask anything more from a goalie and as a team he really calms us down.”

Calmed them down? Yes.

Picked them up? Yes.

“He’s been the backbone of this hockey club,” Hartley said. “He’s been carrying the load, playing very well, bringing lots of confidence to the group. That’s the sign of a goalie that gives you a chance to win games.”

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