One thing that has been certain in Calgary is that goaltending has put the team in an interesting predicament throughout the season.
Veteran, Mike Smith has been criticized for not having a great season, despite putting up a decent record and some good stats this season.
But, at some points in the season, it felt like David Rittich would steal the spotlight after some stellar playing throughout the season.
In my opinion, both goalies have had great seasons and that is why Bill Peters and staff have decided to bounce back and forth between the team’s top two goaltenders.
Rittich has played in 44 games this season and has a record of 27-8-0-5, while Smith has played in 41 games with a record of 23-15-0-2. Rittich seems to have a slightly better edge over Smith.
But, as the season went on, both goalies have been able to step up when the other hasn’t been able to perform. This has made all of the difference for the Flames to go the distance in the regular season.
Wrapping up the season
Tonight, it looks like Rittich will be in the starters net against the Anaheim Ducks. He will have a reduced team in front of him that will see Calgary’s top four defensemen sit out for the second game in a row.
It is still not clear who will get the start against the Edmonton Oilers in the Flames’ last regular season game let alone who will be the starting goaltender for Round 1, Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
There have been some rumours online that would lead me to believe that Smith gets the chance to start the playoffs next week in game one.
But, to make that decision, let’s look at how both goalies have done in their previous five games:
Lately, both goaltenders have been fairly matched. It will be a tough decision for Peters and the coaching staff to make on who the Flames will be starting in the playoffs. Whoever they decide will hopefully set a tone for the first round.