Photo Credit: Stan Szeto / USA TODAY Sports

David Rittich is Calgary’s best backup option

David Rittich is thought by many to be the favourite for Calgary’s backup goaltender job. Now in his second season with the Flames, Rittich had some really strong moments last year playing behind Mike Smith. Unfortunately, Rittich and Jon Gillies both faltered when Smith went down in February. Even knowing that, there’s a reason Rittich is the favourite right now: he’s Calgary’s best backup option.


Looking at Rittich’s splits from last year shows he was strong when serving as a backup. When Smith needed a rest on the second half of back-to-back nights, Rittich consistently stepped in and gave the Flames an opportunity to win. Of course, he wasn’t able to maintain that level of play once Smith’s security blanket was removed from the equation.

Nov. 25 – Feb. 11 Feb. 12 – April 7
GP Record SV% GP Record SV%
10 5-1-2 0.927 11 3-5-1 0.885

While it was disappointing to see Rittich fail to rise to the challenge following Smith’s injury, the encouraging sign was how he played with Smith carrying the load. Rittich was better than Eddie Lack in that spot and provided Calgary the best backup work they’ve had in quite some time.

Of course, you can’t ignore the disparity in performance last season, either. The Flames are going to need Rittich to carry more of the workload this season, especially if they’re serious about reducing Smith’s number of starts. They’d also turn to Rittich in the event Smith misses significant time like he has the last three seasons.

Rittich has spoken at length about how much he learned last season, specifically after Smith’s injury. If Rittich can use that added knowledge and experience positively, there’s reason to be optimistic he’s in a better situation to succeed.

Also important to consider, but perhaps of less importance, is Rittich’s salary. He signed a one-year, $800,000 contract over the summer, which means Rittich is likely more affordable than any outside option the Flames might look to pursue. If the team meets the high expectations many have for them, the more cap flexibility the better.

On top of that, Rittich will remain a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this one-year deal, which keeps him under team control. Not only is his cap hit very palatable, but the team has most of the leverage when it comes to his immediate contract status, too.


Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

How much is Smith going to play? That’s one of the most important questions to ask about Calgary this season, and there really isn’t a definitive answer. There are so many variables when having this conversation, but it’s fair to assume Rittich would be called upon at least 20 times as the team’s backup this year.

That number could easily be higher, too. Smith has missed stretches of time in each of the last three seasons, including a 13-game span last year. And if even if he does stay completely healthy, we have to remember this is a 36-year-old goaltender. To ask Smith to start 65-70 games doesn’t sound like a smart bet.

Somewhere in the 55-60 range sounds far more ideal. In theory, that would allow Smith to maintain a higher level of play by eliminating, or greatly reducing, any fatigue worries. Even at the high end of that range, Calgary’s backup goalie would still be starting 22 games.


In terms of internal personnel, the Flames have two other realistic options: Gillies and camp invite Jeff Glass (Tyler Parsons probably isn’t ready). Based on their NHL numbers last season, it’s hard to make the argument either is a definitive upgrade on Rittich.

Player GP SV%
Jon Gillies 11 0.896
Jeff Glass 15 0.898

Gillies had his moments last year and has a ton of natural ability, but to say he’s been inconsistent as a pro would be an understatement. Glass, on the other hand, is an outstanding story and an easy guy to cheer for, but didn’t exactly slam the door shut in his first 15 NHL games with Chicago. I’m also skeptical the Flames would be able to find a surefire upgrade on Rittich anywhere outside the organization, while also maintaining cap flexibility.

Even if Calgary were to look for outside backup help, whether it be Glass or someone else, doing so would have an unfortunate trickle down. Adding a new goaltender to the mix would push Rittich and Gillies to the American League, while also likely relegating Parsons to the ECHL.

It’s simply not an ideal situation and the headache isn’t worth the minimal upgrade an outside goaltender would provide, if any.


Here’s what we know about Rittich: he did a solid job in a backup role last season, albeit with a limited sample size. What we don’t know is whether he’ll be able to perform at a higher level if Smith gets injured or if the team actively tries to reduce their starter’s workload. But we also don’t know that answer with anyone else.

When weighing all the factors above, Rittich just makes the most sense as the team’s backup goaltender to start the year. It’s up to him to rise to the occasion and, if he doesn’t, it’s not like Calgary hasn’t been in similar situations before.

  • The Fall

    Flames need to set a back up schedule, and stick to it. No more starting Smith to get easy wins against garbage teams. Manage his starts and his practise minutes; keep him sharp and rested for games that matter.

    • Flaming moe

      “Easy wins”, “garbage teams”. ????

      Easy there bud. This is the NHL. Last i checked we don’t deserve to be using words like that to describe our opponents. I bet even the best teams in the league would never think of there opponents as garbage or easy wins hence probably why they remain at the top. How many times last year did we expect the flames to win certain games and we came out on the losing end? No such thing as easy wins or garbage teams in the NHL.

      • Avalain

        Well, we don’t want the players and coaches to be thinking that. It’s ok to think that as a fan as long as it doesn’t spill over into the consciousness of the locker room.

        The point he’s trying to make still stands. The backup needs to start more games than they did last year.

      • Handy andy

        Really nhl teams do it all the time. They play their back up against “weaker” opponents. While smith played basically everygame till he got hurt. I’m guessing that is what fall was referring too.

      • The Fall

        GG got behind out of the gate. Over used Smith early. And yes, OTT, MTL, VAN, PHX are garbage teams that the back up should be scheduled for regardless of where the Flames are in the standings.

    • HOCKEY83

      I knew what you were talking about Fall. There are teams out there that are supposed to be easy wins and you are right in what you said there regarding the back ups. Just because it’s the “NHL” doesn’t mean there are no garbage teams in the league.

      • The Beej


        Not too many garbage teams out there. This is a league of parity
        And mark my words Fall PHX will be no garbage team this year. They are one of the teams I am most worried about in our Div.

  • Jobu

    Last night both Rittich and Gollies played half a game. They both let in a goal. Wasn’t either of their faults. Rittich just looked so much calmer out there than Gillies did.


    If Rittich comes out and plays as the confident cocky goalie he was when he got called up last year then great, if he is the goalie who floundered when called upon when Smith went down….oh no. I personally have more confidence in Rittich than in Gillies but cant wait for Parsons to shine.

  • MDG1600

    My understanding is that Rittich needs to clear waivers to be sent down and Gillies doesn’t. So basically it is clearly a huge advantage to Rittich and his job to lose. I am sure this was not lost on Gillies agent and it is probably why Tre gave him a 1 way contract for next year.

  • Flaming Glory

    I actually don’t think smith should start more than 50-55 games. If we make playoffs he needs to be very rested. I think Rittich can handle it. He won’t have a .930 sv% but a .915-920 isn’t out of the question.

  • freethe flames

    The Flames need to get the split right and I’m a big believer that it should be 54/28. A Smith plays 2 and unless he has a shutout the night before Rittich plays, or go a 4-2 split. The days of Smith playing 5/6or more in a row needs to end.They need to build trust in there back up.

    • Brian McGrattan's Salute

      I would like to add to this conversation a reminder of the absolutely deplorable way this team has consistently handled their backups. They put them in sink or swim situations, toss them to the sharks if they don’t live up to Kipper level amazingness, and chronically fall short of patience, trust, and empowerment needed in general for the position.

      Here’s to hoping that has changed, too.

      • Redleader

        They are in win now , not let’s wait and see how many losses the back up can post before we decide he’s not up to it and that 5 losses just cost us a playoff spot. Sure once Flames are lighting up the opposition 6-1 every night then let’s experiment with unproven goalies ,barely proven at AHL level . Can’t agree with that one.

  • Stockton's Finest

    When dealing with a back up, I think the consensus is a point per start. Any points over that are a benefit. If Rittich gets 22 starts, a 10-7-2-3 record and a .910 save % and a 2.20 GAA is a fair ask. Anything above that is a bonus, dipping below .500 and below .900 sv % is a concern.

  • Chucky

    It is kind of funny that this year everyone is worried about goaltending when in the recent past there has been great optimism with bad results.
    Realistically the concern is largely based on the weakness shown by Rittich and Gillies last year after Smith got hurt. But the weakness occurred when things got serious and teams started playing hard for playoff spots. Last year’s team had some major weaknesses. They were predictable coming out of their own zone and on the power play. The second defense pairing was struggling and giving up scoring opportunities on a regular basis. There was a rash of injuries to key players. Some guys like Frolik had a run of bad puck luck. There was obviously something wrong with the team, whether is was the bizarre preference for Brouwer over better players or the conflict that some appear to have had with Hamilton only the guys in the room know but something was wrong.
    Maybe if Smith had stayed healthy they could have done something but that is a big maybe.
    Hopefully this new edition will put a lot less pressure on the goaltending corpse and better resource management will give these guys a chance to succeed.
    Quite frankly I am more concerned about Neal’s ability to put in another 90 game season. That guy must be tired already. If they can get into a good enough situation it might not hurt to give him a rest near the end of the season.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      We know that they need to give Gillies the majority of the starts but Parsons needs to play in the AHL. I am hoping it is a 60/40 start unless Parsons can steal the starting spot. We have had such a struggle with our goaltending that what happens if they all pan out. If, God forbid, Smith gets hurt and Rittich and Gillies successfully split the goaltending duties, this gives Parsons ample starts in the AHL to polish his game.

      There would be no need to re-sign Smith and next year’s training camp would be a free for all. A mentally balanced Parsons seems to be where I would like to see us land with Rittich as a back up and Gillies as a trade chip. Suddenly our weakness becomes a strength after years of misery. Parsons looks like he is a game saver whose acrobatics will rally his team while frustrating the opponents. I hate to use Oiler examples but he reminds me of a Fuhr or Ranford the way he can steal a game.

      • Brian McGrattan's Salute

        I agree Jack. It will be interesting to see how Gillies and Parsons share the net this season. I’m thinking Parsons will steal the net at some point, at least for a while.

  • Off the wall

    I don’t know if this will make any sense to you all, but I’ve been watching Skydivers all summer long from the safety of my balcony and I’m wonder-struck with their love for something I wouldn’t have the nerve to try.

    I’ve timed some of the free fall’s, most of the time it’s 15-25 seconds of absolute terror to me. But not to them. It’s freedom, expressed in short bursts of flying. But eventually, the chutes pop open and gravity does the rest.

    Goaltending has to be the hardest position ever. You’re up against gifted snipers—with fancy composite sticks that only add to the flexibility of their wicked shots – while the league is slowly trying to make your equipment smaller and your position more difficult.

    I don’t know, however you gotta be some kinda thrill seeker to have vulcanized rubber propelled at speeds that would warrant a speeding ticket.
    These men remind me of Skydivers. No matter how hard you try to be perfect flying, the laws of physics brings you back to earth. We get caught up in SV%, angles, size of the goalie, and mental makeup. While all of this is important, it doesn’t address the nature of the position and the time it takes to get accustomed intricacies involved in the game.

    Watching Skydivers has helped me appreciate the potential of our goaltending.

    If you pull the chute too quick, (giving up on these kids) you might miss the best part of the sport— watching them land safely.

    I say give them wings, and let them do what most of us don’t have the nerve to.. fly

    • Redleader

      Huh ?skydiving is nothing like goaltending !!! So when they give them wings and the break because there carting the entire team and then they all go splat at the bottom of the rankings lololol My lord give your head a shake man ,this is the NHL not a kids league!!!

  • freethe flames

    So after watching the games both here in NA and the games in China and just listening to a BP interview I get a feeling that the young guys have a better understanding of the system than the guys who went to China. (Not surprising considering how few practices the China group had; so although I’m frustrated with the play of some guys I am willing to try and be patient) They practiced today; did any of our writers attend and do they have anything to add?

    • mrroonie

      Trying to learn systems on an ice surface that is 15 feet wider than the one you will normally be playing on can cause some issues. The Flames were doing the same things on the PP last night that they were trying to do in China but had a lot more success because the system is designed for the 200 x 85.

      • freethe flames

        After listening to Gio’s interview from today’s practice I love the fact that they are planning on playing quick and fast. As I have said before the system they are planning to play and especially on 200 x 85 demands that guys work hard and make quick decisions. If you don’t work you will quickly be exposed by other teams and your coaching staff will see it on tape.

    • Off the wall

      My adopted grandson, why the vitriol towards our writers?
      You can be better than that.. my puppy’s show better manners!

      I still have affection for you, but don’t make this more difficult than it needs to be..

      Your old, shriveled , adopted Grampa

      • JoelOttosJock

        You are right. I should show more manners. I just really dislike Steinberg. Listening to him on the radio is terrible. I’d rather listen to WW complain about Backlund and talk about how Tkchuck is agenerational talent. The guy is to wrapped in the nerdy stats. I have a hard time believing he ever played the game. Sorry to disappoint my adopted grand pops. I will try to be a better poster. Other thoughts..how bout the Czarnik kid!

        • Getpucksdeep

          And I disagree completely. We’re allowed to that on this forum. I find Steinberg one of the few left on that station I can listen too. Pinder is far too opinionated and with him now on afternoons I turn them off a lot now that Kerr is gone. Warrener used to be funny because he was so new to it but I don’t find the morning guys funny at all anymore. I do like Francis and Duhatchek. Steinberg is actally pretty easy going IMHO. Too much NFL as well. Flames and Stamps are the home teams. Don’t have a dog in the NFL fight.

          • Redleader

            I can listen to that radio 960 at all anymore,only the games ,not even pregame anymore , no mourning show. The entire cast should be replaced, Stienberg definitely has not ever played hockey and I can’t stand how he thinks his views (he’s always wrong ) then thinks he’s always right and he’s better than everyone else … have you actually listened? I used to listen to 960 all the time but can’t stand the people on there.

  • freethe flames

    So who plays tomorrow? I would guess we see Ryan, Lindholm and Hathaway upfront and I would not be surprised to see both of the top 2 d pairings and a PTO pairing. Upfront it might be good for both Mangiapane and Dube to see the game with a coach. Smith for 2 periods and one last look at Glass?

  • oilcanboyd

    Two games Monday and Tuesday at the Dome and then the time to cut the cord with those not making the team and go full tilt with our A team for the last 2 preseason games (with maybe a couple or three exceptions)!

    • freethe flames

      I’m going to Tuesday’s game and am hoping that it will be a good game and both teams play a near nhl line up. So I would be okay with more of a second tier tomorrow upfront but the top 4 d.

  • Pizzaman

    Steinberg is correct- Rittich is our best backup. Every year we worry about the backup and this feels or looks better than other years. Chucky’s post is correct we had other problems too. We were supposed to have the best D in the league – well that didn’t happen. This year our D, breakouts, speed, coaching will be a step up – making all our goalies look better.

    • Getpucksdeep

      “D” isn’t just the responsibility of the defenders. The centers are critical and the wingers have to be back in time to watch the opponents defenseman and be ready to assist the “D” on the breakout. I believe that’s why its referred to as a team game.

    • Redleader

      Stienburgs never right !! Ok we will see , I’m hoping that Rittich is better than last year !! To just say hey Rittich is the guy give him 20-30 games is hilarious! If you win your in ! It’s that simple!

  • Off the wall

    I’m going to RANT, so if you choose not to read this, I understand.

    I remember when FN was my favourite place to visit. Back then, there was an EDIT function that worked and although it was primitive in terms of layout, it worked. I read it for many years, before I had the gumption to jump in and share my thoughts with a bunch of knowledgeable, well spoken, fans. In fact, I was intimidated by the sheer volume of great posts and thoughtful responses. I didn’t think I could measure up to such a great group!

    I’m downright ashamed and annoyed by the STANDARDS allowed on this site. We have taken a steady decline and it’s now becoming the norm here.

    We have mockery accounts, six headed -monsters creeping out of every crack possible…

    Didn’t we all READ the members creed when we signed up?
    We have new members who feel entitled to mutilate the only sacred part of my day – when I get to spend it with like- minded folks and fans such as you.

    I don’t know about you, however I consider ALL you part of my extended family. Not everyone is going to like me and I’m not going to like everyone either, but that doesn’t preclude the right to being civil to each other.

    Perhaps that’s naive of me to believe in such things, but I do nonetheless.

    I know this will make no difference to some of you, you don’t care. Suck it up off the wall or just leave.

    That’s where I’m at. Do I suck it up or do I leave permanently?

    And..For all those WW haters, he’s been here a lot longer than most of you. It’s his right to express whatever he wants, he can repeat it a thousand times if he wishes, which I’m sure he has, but that doesn’t give you the opportunity to berate him incessantly. I’m not defending him alone, it’s only ONE example.
    WW is patriarchal here, you’re NOT! He was here before me and probably will be when I decide to leave. Of course, you’d have to understand something about life to get this.

    Yes I’m a story teller, however this isn’t a story, it’s a RANT of a dissatisfied member who needs to see CHANGES in the way we communicate with each other!!

    • BringtheFire 2.O

      Whats it like up there on that high horse of yours OTW. I to have been here for some time as well and have witnessed the very man you defend WW spew slander, insults, and at times racial slurs. His negative attitude brings this site down and causes many to roll there eyes. If people attack or mock someone there is a reason most the time. He is mocked due to his repetitive senile posts that hold little to no value and are backed by zero facts. You are more offended by someone copying an avatar then a hateful negative clown. OTW I ask what gives you the right to judge others actions on this site and where do I find a high horse to sit upon.

      • Off the wall

        No high horse BTF, I’ve defended you a few days ago if you don’t recall? Of course it takes insight to recognize that, right?

        It wouldn’t matter what I say, to you, you’re going to misconstrue the intent of the message. I believe you already have.

        I don’t mind you questioning me, it’s your right as a member.
        I know you’re hurt by WW, what should I say? His remarks meant something deeper to you.
        I’m not here to rehash them, it takes time for wounds to heal, yours is still FRESH obviously.
        I did my fair share of WW denunciation and chastising , I can attest to this.

        He didn’t retaliate on me .. ever.
        But everyone has a breaking point, I think you found yours.
        Perhaps WW has as well.
        You can hate me all you like, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.
        It’s your life, not mine. I don’t hate you, never have, I feel bad for you.

        In fact I was one of the first posters to congratulate you on your marriage proposal. I really liked that young man, I was sincerely happy and excited for him!

        Something has changed in you, I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the same BTF I knew. I hope he returns one day.

        If your mandate is here to set us all straight, aren’t you guilty of the same thing you accuse me of.. sitting high and judging?

        Just asking?

        I’m not here to argue with you, I’m old enough to know better.

        You decide for yourself whether it’s better to forgive and move on, or carry the baggage that weighs you down. It’s your choice BTF.

        I’m ready to leave this place anyway, so maybe your wish will come true…


          OTW. Dont leave because of a week or two or garbage. We are bored and awaiting what could be an amazing season. I know I for one will be on my best behavior from now on as you are right. The only ones who will leave are the ones who actually contributed something worthwhile. Dont leave OTW. It would suck in here without your stories. To all at FN, please forgive my childish behavior. Remember, if you forgive someone for something they did to you, it doesn’t mean you agree with what they did or believe it was right. Forgiving that person means you have chosen not to dwell on the matter anymore; you have moved on with your life.

        • BringtheFire 2.0

          it’s a fake account, off the wall. This is the original. I post once or twice to make sure people know it’s not me. Ballsucker and BTF with the old pic, same guy.

          • BringtheFire 2.0

            For the record, tho, I thought about dummy accounts. I made one-Neal’s Cup Year-but I thought Jaysus, this is a lot of work and emotion for sweet [email protected] all. So I gave it up.

            I actually thought for a while that if the other guy could actually steal my identity, then he could take the hate too. It’d be nice not to be hated. But that was ill-advised to say the least.

            Anyways, I haven’t posted anything since my last epic spazz because…well, people who don’t know anything about the internet come here, read a nice article and then vomit when they scroll down to the comments.

            Again, I haven’t made any imitation accounts and haven’t posted with the Chucky pic in ages. That was the other guy. I’ve done damage at this site, and I acknowledge that, particularly by reducing my comments to near 0, where they will stay. But I have a simple fix for the moderators of this site:

            This is a hockey blog. If a comment isn’t about hockey, delete it. This isn’t a place where “free speech” should come into play when dealing with what goes on here, and you are under no obligation to enforce it.

            And if I were to guess, I’d say that StajanforaDirty boot-the guy behind ALL of this- is Carl.

            Also, I do NOT have money. Like, new mortgage, new baby, I think I gotta go to small double doubles no money. I also have a bald spot that helicopters try to land on (they wake the baby it’s annoying).

            I just have a problem with massive freakouts and I’m like Mel Gibson: I know exactly what to say to get people to hate me.

            Notice how Redleader is nowhere to be seen when the trolling is going on? Can any of the regulars picture Carl actually having no comment on all this?

            Man that went on longer than I wanted. Just wanted to clear the air.


          • The GRAND BALLSUCKER

            Incorrect good sir. I duplicated WW, and both Stajan accounts. They annoyed me, you I really could care less about. Already came clean for those so put your detective hat on again and cast the stone elsewhere please.

    • Jobu

      Jobus going to weigh in here fellas.

      Walter has the right to say whatever he wants. Other posters also have the right to say whatever they want including responses to Walter posts. And you have the right to post your thoughts and feelings on the quality of the room. It’s an open forum so talk about whatever you like. Most of us will be talking hockey.

      Jobu knows the sad truth is there is nothing, literally nothing that can be done to stop someone from provoking others. The trolls have as much right to use the pictures and names as Walt and others did well before. Welcome to the internet! It’s a sad place full of strange people that take pleasure in making others angry and have the compete freedom to do so. No moderator can stop people determined to provoke individuals or the crowd. They have ways, you see.

      Don’t let it get you down though. The beauty of it all is that YOU have a choice to not read or acknowledge it! The best way to get rid of something you don’t like it to simply tune it out or pass over it.

      So best to roll with the punches IJO (in Jobus opinion). It’s clear you enjoy this site as much as many of us, so keep reading the good stuff, ignore the bad, tell your stories, and enjoy the site for the good content and contributors it still has.

      Hope you tough it out!


        Well said Jobu. I hit trash on accident, but I did mean to hit cheers. I was busting WW’s balls as his posts make my heart sad. If you follow the threads he is the one who became vulgar, I was just doing old man quotes. Anyways I apologize to the following for imitation: stajanforadityboot, Stajansfinalpaycheck, and The “great” WW.
        They just really annoy me. Thanks for the new handle puckhead, this is my only handle now. OTW….you choose some strange bedfellows for a man who preaches respect. WW, stajan, ottosjock …..pretty vulgar company there. Oh and what is a six headed monster? Peace and love for hockey for all.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      OTW….I enjoy your stories and the life lessons that accompany your experiences. I won’t let a few bad eggs ruin the enjoyment I get conversing with like minded posters. I used to engage with the trolls and call out dis-respectful posters but now I refuse to let them taint the experience.

      The truth is there are posters on here whose opinions I respect and there are some who I feel offer little value. I don’t have to agree with a post to respect the poster but I have to respect how they treat others and conduct themselves in a professional manner on the forums. As is the case in everyday life, there are some posters I could see having a beer with and some not so much.

      I will continue to read the posts from the posters that I respect and skim the negative demeaning posts. It is not ideal but for now I choose this to leaving the site….but I am not sure for how long.

      • SydScout

        I second that, and all of the props given to OTW. Mate, when I read an article here I look forward to seeing those crazy eyes of your avatar and hope you’ll peel off one of your hilarious, poignant or random stories. They’re brilliant and I genuinely believe you add a hell of a lot to this forum.

        What most of you dont realise is that I have no Flames conversation in my day. Who gives a toss about hockey in Sydney outside of a few diehard fans? So I get banter, a few laughs and a few arguments around here. Mostly its pretty good then some of it descends into a trollfest. While I hate these wankers, the general vibe is that most of the posters here are good value.

        So thanks to you and most of the mob around these parts. Its the first thing I read when I wake up, and your input sure adds to my Flames starved day. OTW – stick around. If you do I promise to happily buy you beers some day soon. You are one of the good guys.

        • SydScout

          Oh, two more things:
          1. I listen to Steinberg from here via tunein radio. I like the guy, even called him once from a ferry on Sydney Harbour. He loved it, got a real kick out of it. Seems like a top bloke.
          2. I dont post much here because its pretty intimating. I’m a crazy fan, love the game but cant hold a candle to you folks who know the game inside out…most from birth. You folks here have almost always been awesome with my comments even though some have probably been pretty simplistic. Another reason, OTW, to see that there are only a few tossers out there.

    • Redleader

      Don’t be such a little baby otw. Waaa waaaa waaa ! Lol. If you can’t read or listen to a few negative comments then you should find a grampa mgooo peaches and cream site! Lolol.

    • Chucky

      Most of us come here for hockey content particularly those of us that live in places where the natives think the Canucks or Oilers are examples of our great game. I don’t mind a little trolling and find it pretty easy to skip the guys that beat the same drum over and over. Even the odd cheap shot that would have the target saying “good one” can be an interesting diversion.
      The problem I see is that there are some comments that are simply mean spirited attacks totally unrelated to hockey. If you need to consider “at what point in this comment would the fist would land on my face if the target was sitting in front of me?” maybe it is time to soften the content.

    • The Real SlimBrodie

      I’ve been bugging ww and defending backlund for as long as ww hae been here. It’s all in good fun though, some people take comments too far. I’ve made comments to trolls I wish I could take back, I’ve argued with the very people that police this site. I do however have respect for ww and do not wish for him to go away.

  • Garry T

    If Rittich would revert back to a standup goalie, becoming much quicker recovering from a necessary flop and walkabout from the net, he is your number one goalie for next year. Smith controlled games played last year and tired. I would look at the season and structure in 25 firm start dates for him leaving him out of an active game no more than three times in the rotation.
    I would also make him a more communicative goalie advising his right or left D that (A) or (AB) players are behind the D and require coverage. Doing the above will cut goals against. A review of goals against is a high number of goals over his shoulders and via tight side of the net opportunities. Go R go.

    • Getpucksdeep

      Get your point but the whole concept of “stand up” goalie is from 30 years ago. All goalies play the posts tight and with one leg down and still side shots slip in. Todays goalies are hybrids and when the shots come through heavy traffic or in mad scrambles they are all taught to butterfly. Sure on long shots they can see they stand but most goals come from in tight and in scrambles. If you have an example of a true “stand up” goalie anywhere I’d like to know who it is.

      • freethe flames

        I agree that most goalies are hybrids but at some point goalies need to play to their strengths and goalie coaches need to help them do this. The best example of this is Gilles; he’s huge and should be challenging shooters to find the hole/gap by being further out in his crease and standing up longer. Stockton’s Finest complained all year last year about him being scored on blocker side up high and 2 of the 3 goals he gave up in China were these goals; if he was further up in his crease on those shots the shooters have nothing to shoot at. When the puck is in his zone and he is down on his knees hugging the post(especially the blocker side) shooters are aiming for that spot knowing his weakness. What shooter who has ever had a hockey net has never spent time looking at the top corner.

  • freethe flames

    So to those of you like OTW who are considering leaving the site b/c of the the BS; your views on hockey will be missed. For those of you who come to this site not to talk hockey and specifically the Flames there are many other places to spend your time. On occasion hockey and sports in general intersect with life and IMO those issues are open for discussion on those threads don’t bring them into every thread for the next week. An example is I am sure wee will be discussing the upcoming vote on the olympics and it will get nasty b/c we have different views on who should pay for private buildings, or a story on an athlete getting charged for something. I’m fine with those on that thread but I don’t want or need to talk about it for ever.
    For those who seldom write b/c you don’t think you know much add your voice sometimes you will make us all think about hockey from a different light.

    I have two rules for this site; one is I never use the trash button b/c if I disagree with someone I either want to have the conversation and will reply or I ignore it and move on. My second rule is I try to live up to my belief in how the game and life should be played and lived.

    The loss of the edit button has hurt this site, as has the ability to keep conversations flowing and finally so has the influx of people who don’t really want to talk hockey.

    For those considering to leave or those who have basically left b/c of the BS consider staying or comeback and let’s talk hockey.

    • Jobu

      Everyone complains about the edit button but honestly it will make things worse. Edit IMMEDIATELY makes every trash cheer or reply pointless as the poster can change the original content of the message.

      Trust Jobu when he says no one is judging you by spelling or autocorrect mistakes. We know what you were trying to say.

        • Jobu

          You do understand though hat I could post something like Go Flames Go, get 25 cheers and then change my post to Make fun of HalMcInnis’ mom (sorry Hal, Jobu picked you at random). It would throw the blog and your OCD into more chaos.

    • Chucky

      If good commenters leave the percentage of BS goes up. The only way to defeat the BS is for those of us interested in hockey continually bringing the conversation back to the real topic.

      • Redleader

        I find the people crying and whinnyingabout what others post the most annoying , lamers that try to put themselves higher than others based on grammar when they themselves never make a valid point or know Jack about the sport.

        • Off the wall

          You’re skating on thin ice Carl.
          I read your remarks on other sites, it’s just as annoying.

          I see (now) you have quickly turned Redcoat on this site.
          I won’t be responding to you or any of your other so -called fake accounts.

          We’re done here..

          • Redleader

            I’m the red coat ? Your the one going around telling people what to say and how to act on what you think is your site !!! I’d say your the thin ice like your skin

      • Redleader

        These so called good commentators are the ones who feed them and put a target on themselves then they can’t hack it . It’s funny,then they take this site and what strangers say so seriously, my lord somebody needs to get a hobby ?