Calgary Flames Daily: David Rittich comes up big with Mike Smith injured

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 15: Viktor Arvidsson
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 15: Viktor Arvidsson /

The Calgary Flames come back home after a successful road trip, going 4-2-0. With Mike Smith suffering an injury on this trip, David Rittich came up big.

After a weird segment of games to start the year, the Calgary Flames had a successful road trip. They had a seven-game win streak, then lost six in a row, and now they just came back from a road trip, going 4-2-0.

During this road trip, Mike Smith suffered a minor lower-body injury. While an MRI showed that it isn’t a serious injury, he was out the last two games. As a result, David Rittich played in three games this road trip and played his first ever career back-to-back games.

Rittich also suffered his first regulation loss when he starts a game vs. the Boston Bruins, but otherwise, he came up big. Especially last night vs. the Nashville Predators. When the Flames were up 4-2, while Rittich did poorly play the puck that resulted in a goal against, he came up big during the last few minutes when the Preds were pushing to even things out.

Related Story: Good news, Mike Smith is just day-to-day

Via Calgary Sun:

"“I heard it,” Rittich said, when asked about the clever chants from Nashville’s fans. “I remember it last year from the Stanley Cup playoffs. It was everywhere, on Facebook and stuff, and I knew it was coming.“But I don’t really care. If you play in Europe, it’s always like that.”“That was completely my fault,” Rittich said. “It was absolutely my bad. When I went to play the puck, it rolled over my stick, and … it’s my bad. I should do something more for the boys, and I’m happy I did. At the end of the game, I had a save.”"

Many of the players praised Rittich for coming up big for the team last night to end their road trip on a high note.

"“All year, our goaltending has been our strongest position, I believe,” said Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic. “He’s come in the last handful of games since Smitty has been down, and he’s been a rock for us. You just see how competitive he is. He probably felt bad about his miscue, but everyone has mistakes.”“It’s different, being Robin than Batman,” said Gulutzan of Rittich’s situation. “Those are two different guys. Right now, he’s in a Batman role. This is a good growth time for him.”"

The Flames remain in the third Pacific Division spot. And unfortunately, our good friends, the Vancouver Canucks, couldn’t beat the San Jose Sharks and give the Flames an opportunity to move up. But we’ll take it for now.

Flames Tweet of the day

Hockey Tweet of the day

Some links surrounding the Flames

Tkachuk, Hamilton lead Calgary Flames over Nashville Predators, 4-3 (Global News).

Rittich the hero as Flames edge Predators (Calgary Sun).

Flames Thoughts: Rittich rebounds in a big way vs. Predators (Sportsnet).

Some links surrounding hockey and the NHL

One player from each NHL team to trade now in fantasy (ESPN).

5 things we learned in the NHL: Phaneuf, Gaborik deliver in debut (Sportsnet).

NHL trade deadline: sellers open for business, but will buyers pony up? (CBC Sports).

Next: Flames end road trip in winning style

That’s all in today’s Calgary Flames Daily!