33
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames recall Jon Gillies, David Rittich out day-to-day

The Calgary Flames will have to overcome a bit of an obstacle as they begin their four-game road trip. The club has recalled goaltender Jon Gillies from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat due to a lower-body injury to starting netminder David Rittich.

Gillies, 24, is recalled for the second time this season – the previous stint in Calgary being due to an injury to Mike Smith. He’s played 12 career NHL games (and zero this season) with a 4-5-1 record, 2.71 goals against average and 0.903 save percentage.

With Rittich sidelined, the reins fall back to Smith. Smith has played one game since mid-December. He’s looked better of late, but he’s generally been shaky this season. He hasn’t played a ton lately because, to be blunt, Rittich has been the better option.

The Flames’ road trip takes them to Detroit on Wednesday night, Boston on Thursday night, Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon and concludes in Chicago on Monday night. Per Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson, Rittich is traveling with the team.

  • Rockmorton65

    Holy moley people. Rittich is day to day, not out for the year. Calm down with this “the sky is falling” stuff. Smith’s capable of carrying the mail for a few games. Not ideal, but…

  • Heeeeere’s Johnny

    Ok so here’s the plan. Everybody puts themselves in a calm space and thinks positive thoughts about Mr. Smith. Channel love, trust the Universe, pray to your higher power, rub some beads … whatever you need to do. But in the words of Oddball “quit with the negative waves man!” We can do this! Good vibes only!

  • freethe flames

    Fortunately January is a lighter schedule and many of the teams on the schedule are beatable even with Smith in net. Just don’t be Bad Goal Mike. Yesterday BT said he was not likely to go shopping; depending on the extent of the injury this could change.
    On Mr Gilles: I know he has struggled in the AHL this year but if he could post his current NHL numbers on this recall I would be happy.

    Am I worried; a little but now is not the time to panic.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Well, actually they are trading away forwards for 3rd pairing defense, now deciding they need to trade for forwards.
      Confused. We could help them out and provide Foo or Czarnik and a depth defender like Stone for Poolparty or a couple of picks.

  • buts

    Depth at the goaltending position is something that BT hasn’t addressed and if anybody thinks we can go deep into the playoffs with Smith and Gillies is delusional. This is on BT if we fall in the standings. Goaltending is thee most important position on a team, always has been and always will be. Get a reliable depth goalie before it’s too late.

    • Alcanivorax

      “This is on BT…”

      How many holes in the line up do you expect a GM to fix in one off season?

      He upgraded the top line with Lindholm.
      He upgraded the D (in my opinion).
      He upgraded the coaching.
      He upgraded the bottom 6 (in my opinion).

      Yes it would have been nice to have a better starter / backup but there are only so many resources (trade pieces and picks) that can be used in one off season.

      I suppose one could reasonably expect Smith to have regressed. But I would suggest it was also possible that Smith recovered from his injury and returned to his All Star self from last season.

      If he (Smith) had would you still be complaining about BT not addressing goaltending?

      Next off-season he can do that and maybe add another top 6 piece.

      Rome wasn’t built in a day.

        • BringtheFire 2.0

          So, what goaltender would you have gotten in the offseason if it was “all on buts” ? And more importantly, how would you have gotten him? I’m actually curious.

      • MDG1600

        “buts” isn’t entirely wrong you guys. If Rittich hadn’t stepped up this year we would be dying with Smith as the starter and this site would be lit up with people blaming BT for the goaltending. I doubt many people seriously expected Rittich to be as good as he has been. Beyond Rittich the goaltending in the Flames org is a complete dumpster fire. Overall I would say BT has done a good job but it is also fair to say that goaltending depth is and has been the weak link for the Flames.

    • buts

      I’d bring up Parsons or Schneider before the biggest small goalie named Gillies. Bad puck focus, too deep and goes down early which is something he has done from day one.

      • slapshot444

        That would be nice if we had those options but Parsons will be in Stockton for the season, no way they would expose him to the pressure of the NHL this year, next year maybe. He could be the man if the stars align. Schneider is still not playing well at Kansas City Mavericks according to the Flames nation prospect report.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    I was afraid of this, Smith better be ready, Gillies can’t go in. Peters is going to have to change his game plan, tighten up, forwards back checking, D taking no chances. Lock her down boys.

  • KeepitReal

    If we score 5 GPG we should do just fine. Red Lite Mike should be able to hold the fort for this stretch. He’s gonna let in 1 – 2 softies per game. That factor is baked in the cake and the boys just have to deal with it.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Gillies is in the midst of a really bad stretch.
    Looks good for a game and crap the next.
    Parson had 2 good games and followed it up with 6 GA the next game.

    Maybe Gillies gets a game on this road trip.
    Tonight would be the most logical.
    Then again, you need the better goalie to guarantee a win against a lesser team.

    Who knows. Gillies looked okay in pre-season.
    Maybe a NHL defense in front of him make a big difference.
    Either way, BT has to be thinking long term.
    No goalies other than Gillies signed for next year.
    Most teams pick up a backup goalie whenever they have an injury that could be more than a game.

  • Chucky

    Hopefully they don’t listen to the get defensive talk. The solution is go out and play in the Chicago end score 9 or 10 and see if Chicago can keep up.
    A defensive shell would be the worst way to indicate to Smith that they don’t think he can win and give up a bunch of goals. Smith will stop most of the Chicago shots from centre ice.