Ramo, Karri

Congratulations

Hey, congratulations BP staff on getting us a fine goalie. Even I could tell the difference in goaltending tonight. Ramo just looks, so, so sure of himself. This is the perfect way for Ramo to start; he wins a 2-1 close fought game, and one can only hope that the team builds on this.

NHL Game Night 12/18: Lightning at Thrashers

Call up Ramo. It's time. Hell, it's past time.

TB-2
ATL-6

Johan Holmqvist allowed 3 goals on 9 shots for the loss before giving way to Marc Denis who allowed 3 goals on 15 shots the rest of the way.

Look, I understand there was a business decision that had to be made at the start of this season that precluded Karri Ramo making this team over Marc Denis. However, this team is collapsing under the weight of putrid goaltending and the resulting lack in confidence and morale that comes from it. This team is playing joyless hockey. There is no swagger, and the reason is simple: this team has to work hard right now to generate scoring chances and score goals and nothing saps a team of its juice more quickly than pouring on the effort to generate 4 or 5 good scoring chances only to have the other team come down on a relatively harmless play and pop in a soft goal. That happened tonight, and it's been happening all season and now it's finally coming to a head.

12/10: Lightning-1 at Leafs-6
Holmqvist 4/22 (L)
Denis 2/7

12/13: Flames-9 at Lightning-6
Holmqvist 4/6
Denis 4/25 (L)

12/18: Lightning-2 at Thrashers-6
Holmqvist 3/9 (L)
Denis 3/15

That isn't in the span of a season, or even in the span of a month. That's in the span of 8 days, and you can spread some blame around to the defense and to turnovers by the forwards, but ultimately common sense says you have to look at your goaltending when you allow 6 or more goals in 3 of the last 4 games. It wouldn't be so bad if teams were simply abusing Holmer high glove side like has been prone to happen over the last couple of seasons. It wouldn't be so bad if teams were simply abusing Denis and his slow feet by making plays moving the puck east to west for one time shots. Those are goals that the defense can at least do something to try to prevent. No, what you saw tonight on the Recchi and Thorburn goals where pucks going through Holmer and Denis, and those are the kind of goals that are inexcusable on this level of hockey.

Now, rather than trading anything that's not nailed down there is a simple move that ought to be made immediately to try and staunch the bleeding. You see, there are folks like me (and I suspect at least one or two people in the organization too) who honestly believe the best goaltender in the organization is playing in Norfolk. Call up Karri Ramo. Call him up because he won't allow pucks to go through him. Call him up because his unflappable swagger might just be contagious. Call him up and see what happens when the team realizes they aren't entering every game spotting the other side (at least) one goal. Call him up because at this stage of the game you just don't have a choice.

October was the time for business decisions. Fine. It's December, the team is 3 games under .500 and tied for second to last in the conference. Now is the time for a hockey decision. Business be damned.

Call. Up. Ramo.

It's time.

Box score from NHL.com.

HF- "Lets Just Pretend Mike Lundin Doesn't Exist"

What gives HF? Seriously.

Look, we're long past the point of expecting anything resembling objectivity considering one of your top writers was once quoted as claiming Blair Jones was "trash" because he was a 4th round pick, but can you guys at least acknowledge that Mike Lundin (another 4th round pick, so I guess that makes him "trash" too) has made the NHL? Is that really too much to ask?

AHL Game Night 12/15: Phantoms at Admirals

Pretty sad when your goaltender only lets one in and you still lose.

PHI-1
NOR-0

Karri Ramo allowed just 1 goal on 27 shots but the punchless Ads were unable to give the young netminder a sliver of goal support. Ramo drops to 2-4-0 on the season.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
PHI Powe, (2) , 10:08 (SH)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/14: Bears at Admirals

Eventually when you keep subtracting forwards, something like this happens.

HER-5
NOR-1

Karri Ramo held Hershey to 1 goal through 40 minutes but the floodgates opened in the third. He allowed 3 goals on 25 shots in the game for the loss before being lifted for Jonathan Boutin who allowed 2 goals on 4 shots the rest of the way. Norfolk was outshot 29-20 in the game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
HER Joudrey, (3) (Potulny, McNeill), 8:50

Third Period
HER Wilson, (6) (Barney), 3:47
HER Joudrey, (4) (Potulny, Lepisto), 5:07
NOR Stewart, (7) , 8:56
HER Barney, (3) (Wilson, Morgan), 10:14
HER Potulny, (9) (Lepisto, Wilson), 17:51 (PP)

Blair Jones was a key cog at forward for Norfolk so far this season playing over 20 minutes a night with a significant power play role. It will take time for the Admirals to adjust to his absence.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

Goehring Released from PTO

The Norfolk Admirals have announced that they have released goaltender Karl Goehring from his professional tryout contract. Goehring has filled the role of Norfolk's third goaltender since Karri Ramo's return from a high ankle sprain.

AHL Game Night 12/8: Penguins at Admirals

Where was this Adam Henrich two years ago?

WBS-3
NOR-5

Karri Ramo stopped 28 of 31 shots for the win to even his record at 2-2-0 on the season. It does not escape notice that the decision to play Karri back to back nights after facing a barrage in Philadelphia smacks of an organization rushing Karri back into game condition for a possible recall to Tampa.

First Period
NOR Milley, (7) (Henrich, Jancevski), 6:23
WBS Stone, (2) (Smith, Ardelan), 18:48

Second Period
NOR Klinkhammer, (3) (Henrich, Wanvig), 6:34
WBS Taffe, (12) (Filewich), 19:22

Third Period
NOR Keller, (5) (Jancevski, Henrich), 0:24 (PP)
NOR Henrich, (5) (Leach, Keller), 8:23
WBS Bonvie, (1) (James, Taffe), 12:25
NOR Stewart, (6) (Milley), 19:59 (EN)

What the hell has gotten into Adam Henrich? Adding his ridiculous 1 goal and 3 assist night tonight in with the rest of his production since getting called up from Wheeling of the ECHL and the former 2002 2nd round pick is now sitting with 5 goals and 11 points in 6 games this season. Are you kidding?

Also picking up his production of late is diminutive Justin Keller who dropped 1 goal and 1 assist tonight. In his past 9 games, Keller has 4 goals and 10 points. That may not be Adam Henrich type production (are you kidding!?!?), but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.

Seriously, if Adam Henrich really comes off the scrap heap to finally fulfill his potential Steve Stirling ought to be named not just AHL Coach of the Year, but Coach of the Galaxy for Infinity. I would've never entertained the notion of Henrich earning another contract in a million years, but how can the organization ignore this kind of production right now? At bare minimum you'd have to think Henrich is in line to get his PTO formalized into a full AHL contract with the Ads.

The Admirals improved to 10-13-3 on the season and while their 23 points put them at second to last in the division, they are just 3 points behind Binghamton for the final playoff spot in the division.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/7: Admirals at Phantoms

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

NOR-2
PHI-1

Bolt Prospects' #1 rated prospect in the organization, Karri Ramo, made a statement in his second game back from injury stopping 38 of 39 shots for the win. The Admirals were outshot 39-17 in the game, but Ramo was simply too much for Philly earning first star of the game honors.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Keller, (4) (Wanvig, Henrich), 10:56
PHI Potulny, (9) (Ross, Ruzicka), 13:45 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Jones, (6) (Stewart, Milley), 6:54

Ramo and Blair Jones were first and second stars of the game, respectively.

The kind of resiliency it takes to go from getting severely roughed up in the third period of the game against Binghamton (his first back from the high ankle sprain) to going out and almost single-handedly beating the best team in the division is, in a word, special. Let the pool for when Ramo gets recalled and makes his first NHL start giving Holmqvist a well earned night off begin. I have next Saturday, December 15th, against the Caps.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/1: Admirals at Senators

Ramo returns. Norfolk's defense and PK evaporates.

NOR-5
BIN-8

Karri Ramo started well stopping 17 of 18 shots in the first period but wore down in the second half of the game allowing 6 goals on the final 15 shots he faced. He finished the game with a total of 7 goals allowed on 33 shots faced. Tough way to come back.

First Period
NOR Stewart, (4) (Milley), 4:08
NOR Henrich, (2) (Keller, Scalzo), 9:30 (PP)
BNG Hamel, (15) (Carkner, Nikulin), 17:52 (PP)

Second Period
BNG Bois, (5) (Zubov, Nycholat), 2:56 (PP)
BNG Carkner, (2) (Nycholat, Hennessy), 12:59 (PP)
BNG Zubov, (3) (Yablonski, Hennessy), 15:07
NOR Jancevski, (1) (Jones, Wanvig), 16:35 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Jancevski, (2) (Scalzo, Stewart), 6:12 (PP)
NOR Keller, (3) , 9:47 (PP)
BNG Hennessy, (5) (Dimitrakos, Mauldin), 11:40
BNG Hamel, (16) (Dimitrakos, Nycholat), 14:14 (PP)
BNG Nycholat, (2) (Dimitrakos), 16:35
BNG Yablonski, (3) , 19:54 (EN)

The Admirals did a great job rallying to take the lead in the third period only to completely self destruct in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

The scoring could have been even higher had a premature whistle in the first period not nullified a goal that trickled through Binghamton's netminder that would've made it 3-0 Norfolk.

In any event, the positives to take away are the continued strong play of prospect Justin Keller and PTO Adam Henrich. Henrich had 1 goal and 7 shots on goal while Keller finished with 1 goal, 1 assist and 8 shots on goal.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

Ramo is Back

Quick note from the pregame in Binghamton: the rumors about Karri Ramo returning tonight were true. The young netminder is in net. That's the good news. Vladimir Mihalik out with a non-serious groin strain.

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