It’s a long season. I take it the same way I’ve been taking it, game-by-game and focus on that. - Karri Ramo
GLENDALE, AZ -- His first set of consecutive starts this season yielded identical results.
Back-to-back starts? Back-to-back shutouts. Karri Ramo is feeling it.
You just wouldn’t know it to talk to the Calgary Flames goaltender.
“I just try to focus,” Ramo said following Calgary’s 3-0 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. “It’s a long season. I take it the same way I’ve been taking it, game-by-game and focus on that. I don’t think too far ahead about running with the ball or anything like that."
Ramo blanked Arizona by way of 26 saves. It’s a performance he replicated after kicking aside 32 to shut out the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. The pair of back-to-back shutouts on the road are the first for a Flames goaltender since Dec 14 and 15, when Mike Vernon shut out both the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers 3-0 in a 24 hour span.
Ramo’s efforts in San Jose and Phoenix, combined with some stops against the New Jersey Devils in a 5-4 shootout win a week ago, have given Ramo 63 consecutive saves.
He’s not counting saves, though. Only points.
“It feels good,” said Ramo, who has gone 134:34 between goals against. “It means we’ve got points. We played really good. It means our defense is playing great. We block a lot of shots and made great defensive plays. That’s why we create offense, too.”
“I just try to focus on stopping the next puck and focus on that next play. I just try to be big and square and try to give guys a chance to win games.”
One puck at a time.
“It has to be,” Ramo added. “Just keep it simple.”
It’s a formula that works.
Ramo has won four straight starts to improve his record to 6-2-1. His goals against average has plummeted to 2.28 while he's upped his save percentage to .919.
Numbers trending in those directions suggest the 28-year-old is dialed in.
“Rammer right now is in the zone,” coach Bob Hartley said. “He sees pucks. His positioning I think is flawless. He communicates well with our defencemen. It looks easy but when you’re on your toes and you’re confident like Rammer is right now you get good performances.
“We’ve said it many times. Usually the best goalie will help his team win the game.”
Ramo, for the most part, has proven that.
He’ll insist, though, that he isn’t trying to prove that he’s capable of running with the ball as a more permanent option between the pipes.
“What matters is what you do tomorrow or in the next practice.”