CALGARY - Flames goaltenders Reto Berra and Karri Ramo faced a daunting task at training camp last September. Miikka Kip

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CALGARY - Flames goaltenders Reto Berra and Karri Ramo faced a daunting task at training camp last September. Miikka Kip

Beitrag von carrie201918 » 12. Jul 2019, 08:32

CALGARY - Flames goaltenders Reto Berra and Karri Ramo faced a daunting task at training camp last September. Miikka Kiprusoff had just announced his retirement after a decade-long run in Calgary and it would be up to Berra and Ramo to fill the void. It was a tall order and the Flames struggled at the start of the season. But there finally appear to be signs that the team may be ready to turn things around. Berra and Ramo have helped Calgary to a 5-4-2 record in its last 11 games, with three losses coming in close games against league heavyweights Pittsburgh and Boston. Berra entered the holiday break on a high after helping the Flames to a 4-3 shootout win Monday over the surging St. Louis Blues. He made 32 saves and stopped all three shots in the shootout to improve to 5-8-2 on the season. Berra is also a perfect 3-0 in shootouts, an area in which Kiprusoff historically struggled (23-37). "Overall Im happy with where I am," he said. "For my first year over here, Ive played solid, Ive played calm and Ive played my game. "I want to have more wins but sometimes you cant control that." Once described by former Flames general manager Jay Feaster as the “best goaltenders not playing in the NHL,” Berra and Ramo are still adjusting to the league since coming over from Europe. The ice surface is smaller and there is more traffic in front of the net. "One thing Ive been working on is trying to track the puck and follow it with my body," said Berra. "Also, guys here shoot perfect shots so you cant just go down and hope it hits you, you have to read the shot. Thats a big part of where Im way better than at the start of the season. "I can read the shots and where theyre coming." Ramo, who spent the last four seasons in the KHL, is more familiar with the North American game than his teammate. The 27-year-old native of Asikkala, Finland spent three seasons in the Tampa Bay organization after being selected by the Lightning in the sixth round of the 2004 entry draft. "Im trying to be quicker with my positioning so I can get set and see more pucks," said Ramo. "If you can play a little bit more outside the crease and still be quick, thats always better. Berra, a 26-year-old native of Bulach, Switzerland, said he has also noticed a big difference in the number of blocked shots. One of the trademarks of the Flames blue-collar style of play, Calgary has blocked 688 shots this season, second only to Montreal (725). Individually, defencemen Kris Russell (105), Chris Butler (100) and Ladislav Smid (83) all rank in the top 10. "I think the guys would jump face first into shots, they have so much commitment to the Flames," Berra said with a laugh. "They play like a goalie. Sometimes if theres not many shots, its hard to get into the game and Ill be thinking, Hey, let it through, I want to save something too." Flames coach Bob Hartley has been pleased with how his two goaltenders have improved. "Very happy with their progression," Hartley said. "Theyre two great guys. They want to learn, they want to contribute to the team success. They get along great together. Were trying to give them streaks where if they play well, we ride them." Berra started 11 of 12 games in one stretch, starting with a spectacular 42-save win in his NHL debut in Chicago. Lately its been Ramos turn, as he has started eight of the last 12 and is playing his finest hockey of the year. Hes gone 4-2-2 in that span with a 2.06 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. On the season, Ramo is 6-6-3 with a 2.79 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He attended Finlands Olympic orientation in July, but thinks there is little chance hell be in Sochi this February given the countrys depth at the goaltending position. Its unclear if Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne will be ready for the Games as hes still recovering from a hip infection. However, Finland is still loaded with other options, including Bostons Tuukka Rask, San Joses Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen of Dallas. "With Finland and the goalies, pretty easy decisions for the people who are selecting," said Ramo. "Theyve been well known for so long in Finland and played in the NHL for so long and have been so good." Its a different scenario for Berra. After a strong showing last May at the world championships, he fully expects to be in the mix on the Swiss team. "For sure," Berra said. "Plus Ive made my next step personally by now playing in the NHL." The Flames, who sit 11 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, return to action Friday against the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Hydro Flask Günstig . The German has taken the pole for three straight races -- winning the first two. Hes aiming for a third consecutive win at the Yeongam circuit and, most importantly, a fourth consecutive F1 championship. Hydro Flask Flasche . The 7-foot-1 Hawes, who is in the final year of his contract, is averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds, both career highs, and shoots 40 per cent from 3-point range. The 25-year-old Hawes is in his seventh NBA season. http://www.hydroflaskflasche.ch/hydro-f ... asche.html. His Chicago Blackhawks teammates werent shocked when he found it. Kanes career has been defined by his brilliance in the Blackhawks biggest moments, and his tiebreaking goal with 3:45 to play in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals will rank among the best. Hydro Flask Günstig Kaufen . -- Kenneth Faried made a turnaround hook shot over Draymond Green with a half-second remaining, and the Denver Nuggets made Golden State wait at least one more game to secure a playoff berth with a stunning 100-99 win over the Warriors on Thursday night. Hydro Flask Outlet . The defending champions’ roller coaster season included trading offensive star Percy Harvin in the midst of the team’s 3-3 start. That move that reportedly irked several Seahawk players, but one management saw necessary to save the team’s chemistry.HOUSTON -- Bill OBrien got a bit antsy as his introductory press conference with the Houston Texans started to drag on and a question was posed about how much he knows about his new team. "Ive got a lot of work to do on this team and the sooner that I can get back to my office and start that work, itll be better," he said straight-faced as the rest of the room erupted in laughter. Less than two years after replacing Joe Paterno as coach at Penn State, the 44-year-old OBrien has returned to the NFL as coach of the Houston Texans. He was an offensive assistant under Bill Belichick at New England from 2007-12, but the Penn State job was his first as a head coach. Now he gets the Texans, who spiraled to an NFL-worst 2-14 record last season. "He showed that he has the ability to step into difficult situations and turn them around," Houston owner Bob McNair said. "He did that at Penn State under very difficult circumstances and did an outstanding job there. We expect to see good things happen immediately." OBrien was 15-9 at Penn State, hit hard by NCAA sanctions levied for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that cost the late Paterno his job. He takes over for Gary Kubiak, who was fired with three games left in the Texans dismal season. Despite Houstons collapse, many believe it is a plum position because the Texans have many talented pieces in place and could make a quick turnaround. Houston won consecutive AFC South titles before this years disaster. OBrien said he planned to meet with Houstons assistant coaches on Friday and begin making decisions on who will make up his staff. After his first season at Penn State, OBrien interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns, among others, only to stay in State College. This time the lure of the NFL was too strong to resist. "I do regret not being able to continue with the great kids on that team," OBrien said. "While I tried never to mislead anyone, I understand that some people feel let down. But again, it was a decision that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me." He said an attractive aspect of this job was Houstons world-class medical centre. OBriens 11-year-old son Jack cant walk or talk because of a rare neurological disorder that also causes seizures. Almost exactly two years ago, OBrien fidgeted with a water bottle while taking questions from reporters at his introductory news conference at Penn State. He said then that he couldnt wait to get going, and he feels that way in Houston, too. The first-time NFL head coach was relaxed and confident throughout most of his firstt press conference in Houston.dddddddddddd He did squirm a little when asked about his lack of ties to Texas in following Houston native Kubiak, and stammered some when asked about his infamous sideline blowout with Tom Brady in New England. He escaped the first question by saying he was going to buy his first pair of cowboy boots after the press conference. As for the second issue -- he downplayed the screaming match that ended with other coaches pulling OBrien away. "These things happen," he said. "There was a camera on it which I feel bad about, but what people dont understand about that was 30 seconds after that was over, we were sitting together looking at the pictures ... that quickly passed." OBrien follows Dom Capers, who led the team from its expansion season in 2002, and Kubiak as the only coaches in Texans history. Like Kubiak, OBrien is known as a quarterback guru, which will be important for a team searching for a solution after veteran Matt Schaub had a terrible season and lost his job to Case Keenum, who also struggled. OBrien has almost exclusively coached offence with a focus on quarterbacks, though he was a defensive end and linebacker while at Brown. "Its a job thats never-ending," he said of coaching quarterbacks. "Its a job that you can always improve if you like coaching quarterbacks and its a lot of fun to do." Houston has the top overall draft pick and could use it on a one of a trio of talented signal-callers who could be available. Louisvilles Teddy Bridgewater, 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Fresno States Derek Carr, younger brother of Houstons first-ever draft pick, David Carr, are the top-rated quarterbacks expected to be in the draft. "If we wound up with a young quarterback, wed probably bring in a veteran so we dont have to depend on that rookie," McNair said. "Thats tough putting a rookie in there and expecting them to be able play right off the bat. Thereve been a couple of them that have done it but a number of them didnt do so well. I think having that veteran presence is important." Houston has had the first pick in the draft two other times, choosing Carr in 2002 and defensive end Mario Williams in 2006. "The defensive player worked out better than the offensive player," McNair said with a laugh. "But that wont lock us into anything. Theres always a possibility. (General manager) Rick (Smith) and the coaches will trade around. 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