Calgary Flames: Updates for World Championship

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 7: David Rittich
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 7: David Rittich /

Many Calgary Flames players were invited to participate at the World Championship. Let’s check out some updates on who’s going and who isn’t.

Like we mentioned last week, there were many Calgary Flames players who were invited to participate at the World Championship, but they can’t because, for some reason, every single player is having a baby right now. And the others are injured (Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk). And some are having a baby and are injured (TJ Brodie).

The only confirmed player at the time of the post was Mikael Backlund who will be playing for Team Sweden. Johnny Gaudreau was also invited, but he hadn’t confirmed if he was going yet. A couple days later, we found out Gaudreau will be representing Team USA.

Michael Frolik was the lone undecided player, but he let it known that he won’t be going because his wife will also be having a baby. Is there something in the water in Calgary or something?

Frolik won’t be there to represent Team Czech, but another Flame will. Goaltender David Rittich will be between the pipes for Czech. Rittich this season went 8-5-3 in 16 starts and 8-6-3 in total. His sv% was 0.904. Rittich was doing quite well as Mike Smith‘s backup for a good chunk of the season. And he actually had some of the best stats among all the backups in the league.

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Then when Smith got injured, it was clear Rittich wasn’t prepared to take the reigns and his numbers somewhat took a hit. In three of those games, he had an sv% of below 0.850. However, even with some bad games during those few weeks of Smith injured, he still managed to have 65% in quality starts, which is quite good. He got sent down in the last few weeks of the season after Smith returned and Jon Gillies remained as Smith’s backup.

Rittich was invited to play for Team Czech in 2016 as well, but he never got into the lineup. The preliminary round for the World Championship begins May 4th.