Ortio’s Long Road to The NHL Paved With Bumps and Believers

Steve Macfarlane
January 22 2015 01:30PM

His successful and headline-grabbing recent stint in Calgary might have taken some people by surprise, but a couple of the first Flames coaches to work directly with Joni Ortio could see signs of this as a possible outcome years ago.

Jamie McLennan was director of goaltender development for the Flames in 2008 when he first crossed paths with a young and talented Finnish netminder during a trip overseas to work with Miikka Kiprusoff in the offseason. On the ice with legendary goalie coach Uri Ylonen, Kiprusoff, Saku and Mikko Koivu and some other NHLers was a 17-year-old Ortio.

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Five things: At the break

Ryan Lambert
January 22 2015 09:15AM

1. This looks familiar

So Joni Ortio keeps winning and the Flames keep starting him. No surprise, you roll with the hot goalie. And it's difficult to think of a hotter goalie heading into last night's game than the .958 Ortio was pitching in his four games this season.

Now, this has prompted a lot of people to start talk if, "What do you do with Ramo?" Which seems a bit premature. Because while no one is saying Ramo's all that good, one must keep in mind that Ortio had played all of 13 career NHL games prior to last night, and carried a save percentage of .917. Is that good? Of course it is, but it's also 13 games, and when he played nine last year he went .891; only four of his appearances featured save percentages that broke .900.

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Post Game: Duck this place

Taylor McKee
January 21 2015 11:03PM

It's only been, as of posting this, 574 weeks and two days since the last Flames win in Anaheim. Which isn't so bad when you consider that it is only 5,788,800 minutes so really you're being a big baby. Plus, I don't think it was very nice of the Anaheim city council (pictured here) to build their rink on Lanny McDonald's family cemetery. No class in my opinion.

The Ducks beat the Flames 6-3 in a bit of a weird game in which the Flames played very well for long stretches but the Ducks were opportunistic and play hockey in a haunted rink. 

I'm sorry everyone, this game was partly my fault. I distinctly remember saying out loud during OT in LA that if the Flames won this game I wouldn't care if the Flames lost this game by two touchdowns. So, I'm going to assume that made the Jackman goal happen.

Find out what all happened after the jump!

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FGD: Duck Hunting (8pm MT; SN West)

Ryan Pike
January 21 2015 01:45PM

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On January 19, 2004, the Calgary Flames beat the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim by a 5-1 score in the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. That season, the Flames marched to the playoffs and came within a goal of winning the Stanley Cup (it was in).

They have not won in Anaheim in the regular season since, and they have not won a playoff round since.

Eleven years (and two days later), the Calgary Flames have a cemented team identity not seen since the 2004 edition of the club and, on the heels of four road wins against four different divisional opponents, they can polish off one doozy of a road trip tonight in Anaheim with a victory in the Honda Center to snap their decade-long losing streak in the arena.

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WWYDW: Play Pick A Flames Goalie

Kent Wilson
January 21 2015 10:45AM


Welcome to the latest edition of What Would You Do Wednesdays, a feature here on FlamesNation where you - the reader - are put in charge of the Calgary Flames

Because of rookie net minder Joni Ortio's recent heroics, the Flames organization is suddenly facing an unanticipated conundrum: what do we do with all these goalies? For now the club has decided to ride the hot hand and carry three puck stoppers, but that is clearly an untenable situation.

The options are trade one of the vets or demote the kid once he cools off. So what's your preference?

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