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Ortio decision doesn’t come on heels of loss to Ducks

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

You never make decisions after a game based on one game because it’s unfair and lets face it, we all know how emotional this business can be.Bob Hartley

ANAHEIM, CA -- The Anaheim Ducks won’t dictate the near future of Joni Ortio.

Instead, coach Bob Hartley and the Calgary Flames will decide what’s best for both the club and the 23-year-old netminder, not seven saves on 11 shots that saw Ortio pulled near the midway mark of a 6-3 loss to the Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday.

“I don’t think so,” said Hartley, who with a recovered Karri Ramo and regular Jonas Hiller alongside Ortio finds himself with three healthy goaltenders on Calgary’s roster.

“You never make decisions after a game based on one game because it’s unfair and, lets face it, we all know how emotional this business can be. We’ll talk with management and we’ll reflect on this and again, we’ll make the decisions for the best of the organization.”

Ortio was recalled following an injury to Ramo on Jan. 7 and, prior to the pull, was 4-0-0 with a 1.23 goals-against average, a .958 save percentage and one shutout. The four game stretch saw the goaltender allow just five goals.

“He was unbelievable the last couple of games,” defenceman Raphael Diaz said. “Today, he was so calm. With that age it’s unbelievable. He played really good hockey.”

The Ducks tagged him for four in 29:26 of work on Wednesday, though.

“It’s not fun,” said Ortio, who allowed three goals on eight shots in the first period. “These nights happen. It’s just part of life and part of this business. No need to dwell on it and just kind of put it behind me and have a good break here and then come back to work.”

It’s tough to hang the loss on the Turku, Finland native.

A defensive breakdown led to Ducks forward Matt Beleskey spotting Kyle Palmieri for a virtually empty net just 4:41 into the game. A deflection from Patrick Maroon and another off Kris Russell by way of a Ben Lovejoy point shot put Anaheim in front 3-0 before the first period let out.

A fourth, from former Flames forward Tim Jackman, ended Ortio’s night in favour of Hiller, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Ducks.

“The second one, I think their guy tipped it in front of the net and it took a weird hop off his stick,” Ortio said. “The third one went off someone’s pants or whatever. We were just not getting the breaks tonight. I think they had some good chances too, wide open net.

“It wasn’t going our way tonight.”

It rarely has in Anaheim.

The loss served as Calgary’s 20th straight regular-season defeat in Anaheim. The Flames haven't won since Jan. 19, 2004 -- the longest current road losing streak in the NHL.

But the latest setback wasn’t a reflection on Ortio.

“Again, you look at the first goal he had absolutely no chance,” Hartley said. “Second and third goal, they’re tip-ins right in front of him. Some games, for goalies will look about us or read about us, they know what I mean.

“Some games the puck comes to you. Some other games the puck gets away from you and that’s a game tonight, I look at his positioning, I look at his technique and it was as good as the other games but the puck wasn’t going at him.

“I felt that after the fourth goal it was just maybe to try to turn the game around.”

It was a move designed more to spark the club, Hartley suggested, and less an indication of Ortio’s fate in the face of a crease crunch in Calgary.

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