Ramo, Karri

AHL Game Night 1/17: Sharks at Admirals

Massive choke.

WOR-6
NOR-5 (OT)

Karri Ramo allowed 6 goals on 44 shots in the overtime loss.

First Period
WOR Traverse, (3) , 0:34
NOR Kearns, (10) (Boyle, Smolenak), 1:55
NOR Jones, (7) (Keller, Kearns), 4:39
NOR Gratton, (3) (Keller), 15:23
NOR Jones, (8) (Kearns, Mihalik), 17:09
NOR Lawrence, (3) (Bochenski, Potulny), 18:19

Second Period
WOR Armstrong, (16) (Zalewski, Traverse), 0:14
WOR Vesce, (13) (Kaspar, Westgarth), 17:37 (SH)
WOR McGinn, (9) (Demers, Moore), 18:53 (PP)

Third Period
WOR Demers, (2) (Traverse, Armstrong), 8:36 (PP)

Overtime
WOR Vesce, (14) (Moore, Fornataro), 3:04

That's a 5-1 lead choked away. A total team failure. And that's two points in two nights that the Admirals left on the table, which right now is the difference between being 9 points out of the last playoff spot and 11 points.

Lots of Admirals returned to the lineup this weekend from injury. Andy Rogers was -3 in his first game back in a month. Brandon Segal returned after about three weeks out and earned a penalty shot in the third that probably could've iced the victory, but could not convert. Juraj Simek played in his second game since a layoff of over a month.

Bracken Kearns and Blair Jones were the game's second and third stars.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/13: Lightning at Sharks

The Lightning finally implode under the weight of injuries and youth.

TB-1
SJ-7

Karri Ramo allowed 7 goals on 42 shots in the loss. He was mediocre on a night where the Lightning needed a lot better to stay competitive. His rebound control wasn't there all night, although a couple of the rebound goals San Jose got came off of initial shots that were tipped on the way in. Still, you saw the difference tonight between what Mike Smith has been doing all season in controlling rebounds and what Ramo couldn't do.

First Period
02:17 SJ Setoguchi (20), (Thornton, Murray)
14:19 SJ Thornton (10), (Marleau, Blake)(PP)

Second Period
07:47 TB Stamkos (5), (Recchi, Artyukhin)
10:00 SJ Thornton (11), (Setoguchi, Marleau)
17:21 SJ Michalek (10), (Cheechoo, Vlasic)(PP)
19:56 SJ Clowe (18), (Pavelski, Michalek)(PP)

Third Period
00:34 SJ Pavelski (12), (Michalek, Murray)
02:12 SJ Plihal (5), (Staubitz, Semenov)

This is a critical next 36 hours or so for the coaching staff. They can't allow the team to quit or pout based on what happened tonight. They went 2-2-0 on the west coast swing. Is that perfect? No. But, it's acceptable given the rash of injuries on defense and the fact they had to play two games with just 3 or 4 NHL caliber defensemen. The team showed briefly tonight that their system can work, even against a team as deep and as talented as San Jose, just like it worked against LA and Anaheim. This is where Tocchet's got to make sure the room stays fully invested in the foundation that's being laid.

David Koci was +1 with 12 penalty minutes and 5 hits in 9:08. He got some shifts on defense in the third period once things got out of hand. When you're down six goals, why the heck not?

Paul Szczechura left the game after 3:10 of ice time with an injury.

Kevin Quick was -1 with 1 shot in 15:40 in his NHL debut. He made an ill-advised pass that eventually led to San Jose's last goal. Other than that, he wasn't bad. He didn't look timid and he used his wheels to keep pucks moving and the play in front of him. I was struck by how much better he looked at this level than Mihalik or Wishart. It's just 1 game for Kevin, and it was just 1 game for Wishart, but I have to wonder if the pecking order in the organization may get a second look now.

Vladimir Mihalik was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 blocked shots in 15:25. He really needs a brain transplant. With his size and athleticism, he could be a world beater if you could wire the six inches of gray matter between his ears properly.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 1/9: Lightning at Ducks

A good win for the Lightning and their young netminder.

TB-4
ANA-3

Karri Ramo stopped 29 of 32 shots for the win in his first NHL start of the season.

First Period
03:28 TBL St. Louis (16), (Lecavalier)(SH)

Second Period
01:41 TB Prospal (9), (Lecavalier, Artyukhin)
08:42 ANA Ebbett (2), (Morrison, Hedican)(PP)
17:51 TB Malone (11), (St. Louis, Meszaros)(PP)
18:28 ANA Montador (3), (Morrison, Ebbett)
18:40 ANA Pronger (8), (Getzlaf, Miller)

Third Period
10:50 TB Malone (12), (Halpern, St. Louis)

This is the kind of win that helps build psychological toughness for the club. After not showing up for the third period in Phoenix and then giving up two quick goals at the end of the second, it would've been easy for the Lightning to implode in the third against Anaheim. But, they didn't. They can draw on the experience the next time they face some adversity.

Similarly, Ramo rebounded from seeing his soft goal late in the second chased by a quick tying goal 18 seconds later to shut the door stopping 8 of 8 shots in the final frame to take with win. You can't underestimate how important that is for a young netminder like Ramo who has struggled the first half in Norfolk. This is a critical juncture for Karri with a job in Tampa likely open when and if Olaf Kolzig is moved at the trade deadline. Ramo is in the final year of his entry-level deal, and he appeared a lock to move up in March at the start of the year, but confidence in the netminder has flagged slightly. Getting a big win in Anaheim will hopefully help him regain his swagger over the next month and a half once he gets sent back to Norfolk and give him the momentum he needs to seize the backup job in Tampa Bay.

Matt Smaby was +1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:45.

Paul Szczechura had 2 hits and was 47% on draws in 15:52.

Steven Stamkos was a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career. Tonight would've been his graduation from prospect status at Bolt Prospects, but that will have to wait for the game against the Kings.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Lightning Recall Ramo, Reassign Helenius to Norfolk

With Lightning netminder Olaf Kolzig continuing to be bothered with an upper body injury, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced that Tampa has recalled prospect goaltender Karri Ramo from the Norfolk Admirals. Ramo joined the team in Pittsburgh ahead of their Tuesday night tilt against the Penguins. Kolzig was sent home to Tampa after Saturday night's game 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. Ramo backstopped the Admirals to their third straight victory last night in Philadelphia, stopping 30 shots in regulation and overtime and all four shooters in the shootout in a 3-2 win.

In addition, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced that Riku Helenius was reassigned from the ECHL Mississippi Sea Wolves by Tampa to the Norfolk Admirals. Despite a record of 3-0-0 with a 2.28 GAA and 0.944 SV% in 3 games since joining the Sea Wolves, Helenius served as Ryan Munce's backup in back-to-back road games against the Florida Everblades Friday and Saturday nights with Munce giving up a pair of 5-2 losses. Mississippi doesn't play again until after Christmas, and Helenius' recall to Norfolk will give him some more time to practice with Lightning goaltending coach Cap Raeder this week.

AHL Game Night 12/20: Admirals at Phantoms

Karri getting it cooking?

NOR-3
PHI-2 (SO)

Karri Ramo allowed 2 goals on 32 shots before stopping all 4 shooters he faced in the penalty shot session for the shootout win.

First Period
NOR Smolenak, (12) (Segal, Jones), 14:35 (PP)

Second Period
PHI Ross, (13) (Guenin, Giroux), 12:48
NOR Ward, (2) (Downie, Jones), 17:26 (PP)

Third Period
PHI Giroux, (17) (Ross), 14:17

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NOR- Bochenski, Gratton
PHI- NONE

Brandon Bochenski and Ramo were the game's first and third stars.

Good road win, although the team went into a bit of a shell in the third period getting outshot 15-5. Ramo finally let in the 13th or 14th one he faced in the period, and they went to overtime. Still, the Ads played a great 40 minutes, got a couple of power play goals, and then exorcized some demons in the shootout. Defense in playing better. Goaltending is playing better. And, you've got a dangerous group of forwards that is basically three lines deep. They're still 4 games under .500, and about 7 points behind Binghamton and Wilkes/Barre with both teams holding games in hand on Norfolk, but the Admirals have a slew of home games coming up in January. So, for Norfolk, I think the push is to get back to .500 and by then, hopefully, be within striking distance of 4th place and have something to play for down the stretch.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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