Thursday, November 19, 2015

An Embarrassment of Embarrassment: Ranking the Flames’ Goaltenders Since 2010

Credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports

Hoo boy.

So, I recently asked the kind folks over at to give me their rankings of the Flames’ netminders of the past five years.

The results varied. I agreed with some, and disagreed with some. The Flames haven’t had great goaltending over the past few seasons, but I’ll try to keep mostly positive in this article.

Here are my rankings. At the end of each one, I’ll say who got the most votes for that position out of the eleven serious ballots cast on the website (sorry II).

Here goes nothing!

1. Miikka Kiprusoff

Does this even need explanation? I mean, come on - he’s the best goaltender in franchise history, and while he had subpar numbers in the lockout year, the Flames were trash that season, and otherwise, he was fantastic. Kipper was legendary. 

Now, does he want his number beside Lanny’s or Vernon’s?

How you voted: 11 of 11 ballots had Kipper at #1. No surprise there.

2. Karri Ramo

Fun fact about Karri Ramo: we got him from Montreal for Rene Bourque and prospect Zach Fucale, and normally I’d say that we made out like bandits with that deal alone, except that for some reason the Habs were being charitable and decided to throw in Mike Cammalleri. Montreal wasn’t done there, however - they decided that they had to throw in a draft pick, too, just in case the deal wasn’t sweet enough. That draft pick turned out to be Ryan Culkin, who isn’t the greatest prospect ever but hey, why not?

Cammalleri went on to score 50 goals for the Flames in three more seasons here. Ramo has won 37 games for the club in three seasons of limited playing time. 

Bourque has scored 27 goals since the trade. Fucale is a pretty decent goalie prospect, but he’s in Montreal, so he’ll never play.

That trade alone is worth putting Ramo at #2 on this list, not to mention his solid, consistent play since his arrival here.

How you voted: Exactly two people placed Ramo at #2. The rest put him at #3, with the exception of one #5 vote.

3. Jonas Hiller

He won 26 games for the Flames last year.

He’s moderately streaky, but good when he’s on.

He’s massively overpaid.

He’s a right-handed catcher which you don’t see every day.

He’s better than anyone below him on this list, but not better than anyone above him.

How you voted: Only one person voted for Hiller at #3 - everyone else put him at #2.

4. Joey MacDonald

When Joey MacDonald is your fourth-best goaltender from any period of time, than your goaltending situation has a problem. Nothing against Joey (he was serviceable when he was here, and he managed to actually have a save percentage over .900 on an atrocious 2012 Flames team) but when a guy that was chased out of Toronto (and in 2010, no less) finds himself on the top half of a historical goaltending depth chart… man.

I do remember being legitimately sad when he left, however. Bonus points!

How you voted: Again, one person had Joey Mac at #4. The rest had him lower, with the exception of one #3 vote.

5. Joni Ortio 

“Oh oh Oreo!” - Leah Hextall

Joni Hockey has had an up-and-down career in the NHL. Last year, he was nearly unbeatable. This year… he’s 2012 Playoffs Marc-Andre Fleury.

He’s still just a kid, though. Loads of potential.

How you voted: For the third time in a row, only one person agrees with me.

6. Reto Berra

Remember that great bicycle kick save by Berra during Rob Kerr’s television prime?

That’s all I remember of him. I vaguely recall him losing more games than he won and being beat out by Joey Mac for the #1 spot. Now he’s ripping it up in Colorado.

Also, it’s a shame that “Arret-o Berra” never caught on. I was so proud of that nickname. Get it, because “Arret” is French for “stop”? And Berra stopped pucks? Hahahahaha!

How you voted: 2 votes were cast for Reto at #6. At least that’s more than one.

7. Vesa Toskala

I remember absolutely nothing about Vesa Toskala’s time in Calgary, aside from the fact that he was moderately successful. He apparently lost zero games. Neat.

How you voted: One person voted for Vesa at #7.

8. Leland Irving

We’re getting into the really obscure section of this page now. Irving was fine (I guess) during his time in Calgary, but come on. First round picks (even late ones) should do better than a .902 career save percentage. His last year in Calgary, that number was .883.


How you voted: Three! Three! Three people agreed with me, the most since Miikka.

9. Henrik Karlsson

“The Calgary Tower” played like “The Calgary Condominium” during his time here. He let in two out of three shots he faced [citation needed] and almost never played.

Five wins in 26 games.

How you voted: Again, three people concurred with my ranking.

10. Curtis McElhinney

Speaking of someone who never won… I remember being really excited when Curtis McElhinney won his first game in regulation time as a Flame. It was in, like, his tenth game, and I think that it was against Edmonton. I also recall him  once making “some kind of save” against Carolina, because Peter Loubardias was calling that game (just kidding, Peter, you are my absolute favourite).

They lost 6-1.

How you voted: Exactly zero people voted for McElhinney at 10.

11. Danny Taylor

I vaguely remember seeing this guy, maybe once or twice. Otherwise, nope. I believe he lost both of his games. 

How you voted: Seven people voted for Taylor at the bottom spot.

So, that’s that. Do you agree with my rankings? Sound off in the comments.

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