Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/14/13
He knows what he is — and where he is. He’s a netminder in the city that has been owned by Miikka Kiprusoff for a decade. Not that there aren’t similarities between the two. He’s Finnish. He’s laid-back. He’s got ghouls painted on his mask. Heck he even arrives in Calgary as a 27-year-old — just like you-know-who. But Karri Ramo is not Kiprusoff. “I think he recognizes that that’s a fool’s game trying to replace Kipper or be like Kipper” Jay Feaster general manager of the Calgary Flames said Friday at the WinSport Ice Complex. “The pressure that he should feel more than anything here is competition.” Ramo doesn’t much know Kiprusoff — just a couple of chats over the years — but he understands the keen interest in the hunt for the next No. 34. However he’s politely sidestepping that conversation. “Because I don’t think it’s the pressure of being Miikka — nobody can replace him” said Ramo. “Obviously nobody can be the new Kiprusoff. But to be a go-to guy here — or anywhere in the (National Hockey League)? It’s a high-pressure spot. It would be the same thing even if Miikka was here. You would still feel the pressure (because) you would want to beat him. “But you can’t think about him. Like ‘Oh Kiprusoff would have made this save and I couldn’t make it.’ You have to be yourself and play your game. “And now he’s out so the job is there to take. The pressure isn’t to replace him. The pressure is to be a No. 1 goalie in the NHL. That’s huge pressure.” The organization emphasizes that it is a wide-open race for the starter’s role. Candidates include Reto Berra Joey MacDonald Joni Ortio and Ramo. But big things — perhaps the biggest things — are expected from Ramo. “Obviously it’s a huge thing to play in the NHL but I can (be even-keeled) about it too” he said. “I’m more mature. I’ve seen a lot of different places a different league. Still I’m really excited to be here to play in the NHL. But definitely I don’t think it’s the same as how a 19-year-old would look at it.” Feaster for one can vouch for the teenage version of Ramo.
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