Ramo, Karri

Upcoming Graduations

A quick update for anyone interested in upcoming prospect graduations...

Karri Ramo needs just 6 more decisions to graduate from prospect status according to our site's criteria.

Matt Smaby needs just 11 more games this season to graduate.

Noah Welch needs just 13 more games this season to graduate.

The Lightning have exactly 13 games remaining on their schedule. Bolt Prospects will issue its Final Rankings for the 2008-2009 season following the conclusion of all prospects' playoff seasons, and with prospects like Dustin Tokarski, James Wright, and Luca Cunti possibly poised to make some deep runs, it may be a while. Expect significant changes at the top of the list, though, with two of the only four prospects ever to hold the #1 spot (Stamkos and Downie being the other two) on our rankings likely to graduate by year's end. And then there's the playoffs...

It should be fun.

NHL Game Night 3/12: Lightning at Leafs

A crushing blow in the Tavares/Hedman Derby.


Karri Ramo allowed just 1 goal on 21 shots for the win, playing both ends of the back-to-back. Getting 3 points out of 4 in a back-to-back situation is another big step for a guy trying to win a job in Tampa next season.

First Period
03:21 TOR Stempniak (13), (Blake, Schenn)

Second Period
05:25 TB Pettinger (4), (Karsums)
17:19 TB St. Louis (25), (Stamkos, Malone)

Third Period
14:35 TB Malone (24), (Murphy, Lecavalier)(PP)
17:54 TB Szczechura (3), (unassisted)

Noah Welch was +1 with 2 hits and 2 blocked shots in 16:40.

Matt Smaby had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 22:42.

Paul Szczechura had 1 goal on 1 shot with 3 hits and 1 blocked shot in 14:55. He was also 4-for-4 on draws.

Martins Karsums had 1 assist and was +1 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 14:30.

Richard Petiot was +1 with 1 shot, 6 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:31.

These prospect stat reports are getting as long as Smaby's arm.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/11: Lightning at Senators

So, this team has some pride after all? Or, at the very least, some fear of Rick Tocchet?

OTT-3 (OT)

Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the overtime loss. More good than bad. He made THE save all alone with an Ottawa shooter late in the third period to get the Lightning into the OT session, but he's still struggling with his rebound control, which cost the team the winning goal. I don't think anyone blamed him or McKenna for the debacle against McKenna, but it was definitely something worth monitoring going into this game. How would Ramo respond? And, he didn't respond badly.

First Period
02:37 TB Murphy (4), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)(PP)
04:53 OTT Shannon (4), (Spezza, Alfredsson)(PP)

Second Period
09:25 OTT Kelly (9), (Alfredsson, Phillips)(SH)
09:38 TB Hall (5), (Artyukhin, Krajicek)(PP)

Third Period

02:38 OTT Fisher (11), (Phillips, Volchenkov)

Noah Welch had 4 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 15:41. That's a far better number in terms of ice time for Welch to be getting.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 23:35.

Paul Szczechura had 1 shot and 4 hits in 11:40. He made some dumb plays coming through the neutral zone, which is uncustomary for such a smart player.

Martins Karsums had 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 11:06. The guy is just less than the sum of his parts right now.

Richard Petiot had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 18:13. He looks a step slow for the NHL level, but he's fairly servicable positionally and he looks like he competes. He may be a good spare part to keep around as a #8 type guy down in the minors.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/7: Hurricanes at Lightning

The worst 40 minutes of hockey in Lightning history.


Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 7 shots before being pulled for Karri Ramo. Ramo was then the beneficiary of some of the worst defense in the NHL and allowed 6 goals on 22 shots (and took the back door loss to boot) before being pulled at the end of the Second Period. McKenna stopped all 8 shots he faced the rest of the way. Honestly, there was only 1 questionable goal in the lot (by Ramo, on a shot that deflected off Stamkos' stick and through his five hole). Other than that, all of the other eight goals were quality goals that were either odd man rushes or terrible defensive zone breakdowns.

First Period
07:01 CAR Staal (29), (Brind'Amour)(SH)
09:40 CAR Staal (30), (Cole, Ruutu)
10:09 CAR Babchuk (9), (Pitkanen)
12:43 TB St. Louis (24), (Stamkos, Szczechura)

Second Period
02:41 CAR Corvo (12), (Cole, Staal)
03:48 CAR Brind'Amour (9), (Samsonov (25), Cullen)(PP)
06:03 CAR Ruutu (18), (Samsonov, Corvo)(PP)
12:48 CAR Staal (31), (Larose, Ruutu)
16:45 CAR Staal (32), (Ruutu, Cole)

Third Period
3:30 TB Lecavalier (28), (Malone, Prospal)
9:12 TB Malone (23), (Prospal, Lecavalier)

Here's an FYI to Len Barrie and Oren Koules: Lightning Nation is pissed off. They're more than a bit peeved by the fact that they have to watch a defense comprised of two cast offs who couldn't even get regular ice time for the Florida Panthers, a cast off who couldn't even get out of the minors for the Carolina Hurricanes, a goon who shouldn't even be playing defense in the NHL, Charminy soft Lukas Krajicek, and Matt Smaby, who is the one guy in the bunch who doesn't deserve to be shot, stuffed, and mounted on the wall at the Bear Mountain Resort. This defense is a disgrace, and it's patently obvious that the season is being tanked from the blueline out. When the lone silver lining is, "Oh, well we picked up two points on the Isles in the Tavares/Hedman derby," that's just not acceptable. Honest to goodness, if you're going to ice a corps that bad, why not just call up Vladimir Mihalik and Ty Wishart? I'd rather give minutes to the kids than a has-been and some never-will-bes.

Noah Welch was -2 with 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in an obscene 27:22 of ice time tonight. He and Cory Murphy's first period should be a warning to pregnant women of what happens if you drink while you're carrying your child. How does a guy who couldn't even get in the lineup for Florida end up here playing 27:22 two games later? I can't figure out if this movie is a comedy or a tragedy, boys and girls.

Smaby was +1 with 2 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 16:49. I'm kind of surprised that his ice time was so low because he was very visible in the physical game. That said, even he made his fair share of mildly stupid plays tonight.

David Koci was -2 with 4 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 11:59. If David Koci is an NHL defenseman then I'm an international playboy.

Paul Szczechura had an assist and 2 penalty minutes with 3 shots, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 11:30. I haven't really been impressed with Paul since he came back from his injury, but he showed flashes again tonight, especially in garbage time in the third period.

Martins Karsums was -1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 11:27. Chad made the point on the message boards that, athletically, he's reminiscent of Ruslan Fedotenko. That's true, but unlike Fedotenko, Karsums is terrible along the wall. I don't think it's lack of want to and he seems sturdy on his skates. He just seems clueless about his body position. Oh, and he made a nice fat turnover that ended up in the back of the net on Anton Babchuk's goal. From Latvia to Russia with love.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/6: Blues at Lightning

One point further away from Tavares or Hedman?

TB-3 (OT)

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 36 shots for the overtime loss. His rebound control needs work, but he was fairly sharp in this one.

First Period

Second Period
05:43 STL Tkachuk (19), (Boyes, McDonald)
09:25 STL McDonald (10), (Backes, Boyes)(PP)

Third Period
03:28 TB St. Louis (23), (Lecavalier, Stamkos)
06:10 STL Backes (19), (Oshie, McDonald)
12:10 TB Pettinger (3), (Halpern, Artyukhin)
19:44 TB Stamkos (14), (Murphy, St. Louis)

00:27 STL Boyes (26), (Colaiacovo, McDonald)

Noah Welch was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 4 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 23:06. He's servicable, if unspectacular.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 1 shot, 5 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 23:23. He took a skate to the cheek and hardly missed a shift. You can make a very strong case that he's been the team's best d-man over the last month.

David Koci had 1 hit in 6:52.

Martins Karsums was -1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:59. You can see the attraction from the Lightning's end: he's a good skater with decent burst and feisty for an average sized player.

Brandon Segal had 2 shots and 3 hits in 12:50. He had some good moments tonight on the forecheck but shanked a rebound off a Karsums shot that should've been his first NHL goal.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 3/3: Penguins at Lightning

Trade deadline tomorrow.


Karri Ramo allowed 3 goals on 33 shots for the lost. He made some solid saves, but struggled with his rebound control. Still, I think if he gives the Lightning more games like this (.900+ save percentage and no softies) they'll be pretty satisfied.

First Period
07:38 PIT Kunitz (18), (Kennedy)
12:23 TB Prospal (17), (Lecavalier, Malone)
16:44 PIT Kunitz (19), (Sykora, Malkin)(PP)

Second Period
12:26 PIT Cooke (9), (Dupuis, Talbot)

Third Period

Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts were held out pending likely trades or waiver claims tomorrow.

Matt Smaby was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 22:33.

David Koci was -1 with 1 blocked shot in 6:43. Pittsburgh's third goal was on him.

Brandon Segal had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 14:45. First impressions: he didn't look completely out of place as far his skating goes. If he gets more decisive when he goes to the wall, I think he could do some business up top.

Paul Szczechura had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:53.

Box score and extended statistics from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 2/27: Lightning at Canucks

Vancouver gets a bounce and the Lightning don't.


Karri Ramo allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the loss. No complaints tonight. He made a handful of key saves to give the Lightning a chance in the third period, not the least of which was a huge save moving right to left on a 2-on-1 that became a partial break for one of the Sedins.

First Period
11:41 VAN Edler (7), (Kesler, Demitra)(PP)

Second Period
14:36 TB Stamkos (12), (St. Louis, Recchi)

Third Period
09:26 VAN Bernier (13), (Demitra, Johnson)

With 20 games left to go in the season, Steven Stamkos is suddenly en fuego despite not having a steady set of linemates. It's a very positive sign. I think people are going to be shocked how good Stamkos is going to be next season.

Matt Smaby had 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 22:57. Despite having one bad wheel, he's consistently making plays for this club. He's taking the body. He's breaking up plays with the stick. He's blocking shots at key times. He's playing around 22 minutes a night lately and he looks good doing it. That tells me this guy may have top-four potential after all.

David Koci played 7:33.

In case anyone is wondering, Smaby is 17 games away from graduating from prospect status by Bolt Prospects criteria. Ramo is now 11 decisions away from graduating by site criteria, as well. Both look achievable, and the top-5 of our rankings look destined for some major changes at year's end.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Karri Ramo


Out of Organization
Asikkala, FIN
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 6 (#191) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: 
Projects As: 
No. 1 Goaltender

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Draft Year: 
Drafted By: 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Pick No.: 
Draft Team: 
Pelicans Lahti (FIN Jr.)


Contract Status: 
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Exempt
Signing Date: 
Contract Type: 
Contract Length: 
3 years
Cap Number: 
$658 333
Contract Start Year: 
Contract End Status: 
$600 000
$650 000
$725 000



Junior Career

Asikkala's native son started his career with the cash strapped Lahti Pelicans organization in Finland. In 2001-2002 at age 16 he saw his first action for the Pelicans' Junior-C club. He advanced steadily through the ranks and the next season had played in 19 games with a 2.78 GAA and a .906 save percentage in Junior-B. In 2003-2004 he made the next two steps in his progression playing 18 games with a 3.31 GAA and a .907 save percentage in Junior-A while making his SM-liiga debut playing 3 games with Lahti's men's team. That summer the Lightning selected Ramo in the 6th round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and invited him to come to Traverse City to participate in the annual prospect tournament. Ramo opened the Lightning's eyes with a sterling 37 save performance in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues prospect team in his first and only, to this point, start in North American hockey. Brimming with confidence, Ramo returned to Lahti's Junior-A side and proceeded to lead the league with an incredible 1.70 GAA and .945 save percentage, besting even Toronto Maple Leafs' first round pick Tuukka Rask. More impressively, Ramo would become Pelicans' SM-liiga starter at age 18 when at mid season veteran Pasi Nurminen left the team and injuries forced Ramo into the number one spot. Ramo responded by playing 26 games at the SM-liiga level with a respectable 3.98 GAA and .898 save percentage at 18 years old for a woefully underfunded last place team. Indeed, in his first month at the elite level Ramo won more games for Lahti than Nurminen had the entire first half of the season. At year's end, with the SM-liiga club well out of contention and Pelicans' Junior-A team struggling to make the playoffs Ramo wasrturned to the junior ranks where he masterfully pitched three consecutive shutouts in the final three games of the regular season to guide the team to the #7 seed in the SM-liiga playoffs. In the playoffs, Pelicans was quickly crushed but the performance was sufficient to attract the attention of SM-liiga powerhouse HPK who signed Ramo away from Lahti in the offseason. Ramo also was given the opportunity to play for Finland in the 2004 U18 World Junior Championships where he backed up Rask defeating Denmark 4-1 in his lone appearance as Finland finished 7th on the tournament table. Ramo began his year in HPK a tandem situation with young goaltender Miika Wiikman, but he soon claimed the starting spot and was leading the SM-liiga in GAA and save percentage before a knee injury in November kept him out of action for a month. The injury not only hurt Ramo's momentum in the SM-liiga season but it hurt him in his quest to dethrone Rask as Finland's starting goaltender in the 2005 U20 World Junior Championships where he again played the role of backup allowing 7 goals in his lone appearance against a talent rich Team USA roster. Finland would go on to win bronze behind Rask and Ramo would return to tandem duties for HPK. Together with Wiikman, Ramo and HPK claimed the SM-liiga championship in 2005-2006, although Wiikman carried the starting load in the final two series of the playoffs.

Professional Career

Ramo began his rookie season in North American pro hockey with Springfield of the AHL where he quickly seized the team's starting job away from veteran Sean Burke. After an impressive first half of the season, Ramo was named to the AHL Eastern Conference All-Star team and Ramo won the Best Goaltender Award at the AHL Skills Competition. As Springfield struggled in the second half of the season, Ramo's statistics took a hit and he finished the year 15-24-1 with 1 shutout, a 3.13 GAA and a .906 save percentage. Ramo also received two injury callups to the NHL over the course of the year and was called up full time to the Lightning for the final month of the season. Ramo made his NHL debut in relief on December 2nd, 2006 in Ottawa allowing 2 goals on 18 shots faced. In two relief apparances total, Ramo allowed 4 goals on 23 shots and had a 3.43 GAA and .826 save percentage. Ramo was named as the Lightning's backup goaltender by Head Coach John Tortorella at the start of the 2007 NHL Playoffs. Ramo was sent down to Norfolk of the AHL at the start of the 2007-2008 season despite leading the Lightning training camp scrimmages in save percentage. The young goaltender suffered a high ankle sprain in his first game of the AHL season and missed nearly two months of action before returning to the lineup for Norfolk in December. Ramo posted a 2-4-0 record for Norfolk with a 3.33 GAA and .898 save percentage before being recalled full time to Tampa Bay on December 19, 2007. The young netminder won his first ever NHL start on December 20, 2007 against Toronto stopping 31 shots in a 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs. Ramo finished the year with Tampa Bay with a 7-11-3 record with a 3.03 GAA and .899 save percentage in 22 appearances.

Scouting Report


Ramo has good size and athleticism and plays a quick butterfly style. Has a stout frame and fatigues little over the course of games. He has a solid glove and maturity beyond his years in the mental game. He loves to handle the puck and is good at passing and shooting the biscuit.


Struggled with his rebound control at the U20 World Junior Championships but that may have been a product of nerves as this is known as a strength of his in the SM-liiga. He's still relatively green experience wise and is now starting to get the game action he needs to continue to develop toward his potential. Has a tendency to be overaggressive in challenging the shooter and needs to work on simply playing the angles and using an economy of motion to stop pucks.


Ramo has the upside to one day become a starting goaltender in the NHL. With the free agent acquisition of Olaf Kolzig, Ramo is expected to be the starting goaltender for Tampa's AHL affiliate in Norfolk for the 2008-2009 season.


NHL Game Night 2/24: Lightning at Oilers

A soft goal was the difference.


Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 44 shots in the game. He had a respectable save percentage in the game, but he never looked completely comfortable to me and the soft goal he allowed to Jason Strudwick on a long point shot that he badly misplayed his angle on ended up being the difference. It's nothing that will get him demoted, but I would expect McKenna back in for the next game.

First Period
02:20 EDM Cole (15), (unassisted)
05:40 EDM Strudwick (2), (Gagner)

Second Period
02:30 TB Murphy (2), (St. Louis, Recchi)(PP)
12:23 TB Stamkos (11), (Malone)
13:15 EDM Souray (16), (Cogliano)

Third Period
02:20 EDM Cogliano (14), (Stortini, Moreau)
13:46 TBL Murphy (3), (Lecavalier, St. Louis)
19:58 EDM Souray (17), (Brodziak)(EN)

Marek Malik needs to be put down like Old Yeller. Man up, Brian Lawton. It's time. Erik Cole made Malik look like he was moving in reverse on the Oilers' first goal. Sad.

Matt Smaby was -1 with 2 hits and 3 blocked shots in 21:59.

David Koci had 7 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 6:09.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Day 2/22: Bruins at Lightning

The Lightning steal the win.


Karri Ramo stopped 40 of 43 shots for the win. He's not playing perfect hockey, but he is playing relaxed and making saves and keeping the Lightning in a position to compete. Tonight he won despite his club being outshot 43-18. His night in a nutshell: he gave up an awful rebound to Phil Kessel coming in off the wing with the game tied 3-3 and then made an athletic pad save in close to bail himself out. Flawless? No. But he's battling, and getting fair results.

Bobby Taylor has talked recently on the broadcasts how defensemen who come up to the NHL sometimes find it easier because the forwards are always in the proper position on the breakout. I wonder if Ramo is looking more relaxed partially because he worries less about the team in front of him being in the proper position and not overcompensating for odd man rushes or back door plays.

First Period
01:38 BOS Kessel (25), (Savard, Lucic)
04:44 TB Halpern (4), (Pettinger, Eminger)
04:59 TB Hall (4), (Craig, Artyukhin)
16:42 BOS Ference (1), (Savard, Wideman)(PP)

Second Period
10:00 TB Recchi (13), (Melichar, Koci)
15:17 BOS Chara (14), (Kobasew, Ward)

Third Period
18:27 TB Prospal (15), (Halpern, St. Louis)(PP)

It's nice to be able to take Jeff Halpern's picture off the milk carton, too.

Matt Smaby had 4 hits and 5 blocked shots in 22:06. I'll bet you, dollars to donuts, 75% of the GM's who talk to Brian Lawton next week ahead of the deadline will try to scam him out of #32, and that Lawton will tell them, "No thanks."

David Koci had his first NHL assist, was +1, and had 3 hits in 7:06. David Koci: The Secret Weapon.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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