Yesterday the Calgary Flames assigned Joni Ortio to the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League.
After posting a 4.27 goals against average and .868 save percentage in four games (and 141 minutes) of NHL action, the hope was Ortio would round into form by actually playing some hockey.
In his return to the American Hockey League, he couldn’t even make it out of the first period against the Bakersfield Condors. He allowed four goals – three even-strength and one on the power-play – on 12 shots in 13:07 of action before getting pulled in favour of back-up Kent Simpson.
It’s definitely way too early to say that Ortio’s done as a prospect, but considering that he was brought down from the NHL in part to help stabilize goaltending for a Stockton team that’s missing both Jon Gillies and newly-acquired Kevin Poulin due to injuries, it’s definitely not a good start.
For the stats heads: he’s posted an 18.30 goals against average and a .667 save percentage in his AHL return. It’s a rare instance of a goalie’s numbers absolutely cratering when he’s sent to a lower level of hockey. Granted, it’s a very small sample size, but there’s no questioning that Ortio’s confidence is probably at an all-time low right now.
Hopefully Ryan Huska goes back with Ortio in tomorrow night’s return match against Bakersfield.