The Calgary Flames are looking for a starting goaltender.
No, not via the trade market. From within. The question is which one will start in the playoffs.
Mike Smith’s early struggles, combined with David Rittich’s steady brilliance, have prompted many to conclude the Flames are poised to start the playoffs with the latter.
Not necessarily so, says coach Bill Peters, much to the chagrin of a fan base convinced Rittich is the club’s next Miikka Kiprusoff.
Smith is coming off solid, back-to-back efforts in Florida and Pittsburgh that were chiefly responsible for snapping the club’s recent funk, snagging three of four points.
In those games the lanky veteran exhibited the type of aggressiveness and swagger that made him an NHL all-star last year.
Those showings are part of an ongoing rehabilitation of sorts for the 36-year-old who has openly discussed his fight to regain his confidence and form. Of late he’s quashed his early trend of giving up a softie almost nightly and become a steady alternative to the second-year Czech star.