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2017-18 Player Report Card: David Rittich

Rittich spent most of the season as the backup to Mike Smith

NHL: Calgary Flames at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

David Rittich: Goalie

NHL Stats: 8-6-3, .904 SV%, 2.92 GAA

AHL Stats: 7-5-0, .889 SV%, 3.18 GAA

Our Individual Grades

MarkParkinson14: (C) David Rittich’s season was the tale of 2 seasons: David Rittich the backup and David Rittich the starter. I’m all for David Rittich the backup. David Rittich the starter.....not so much. Rittich was solid as Mike Smith’s backup, getting spot duty after Eddie Lack was sent packing. Where he struggled was in the starter’s role when Mike Smith was hurt. He went 2-6-1 in his last 9 starts, not good enough for someone trying to catch the eye of the Calgary brass. Rittich did enough this season to get a look in training camp next season, but he shouldn’t just be handed the backup job either.

MGMacGillivray: (C+) Rittich was a strong goaltender for most of the season as a backup before he was thrust into the starter’s net. Whether it was the added pressure of being the starter, or being unable to handle a heavier gameload, Rittich struggled and the Flames fell off a cliff from there. Rittich will likely be battling Jon Gillies and perhaps an outside arrival for the backup role next season, and I feel like he has the inside track but it could be close. The Flames may be wise to go with a more proven backup as an aging Mike Smith’s health is a major concern.

MilhouseFirehouse: (C) In the same scenario as Gillies, being thrust into the spotlight when Mike Smith went down was an unmitigated disaster for Rittich. If this were based on his work strictly as a rookie backup this year, it would’ve been an unquestioned A+, but we can’t ignore the struggles when he was relied on as a starter. Optimistically, he moves forward as a solid backup utilized sporadically where he can thrive like he did in the past. Pessimistically moving forward, getting shelled down the stretch might’ve cooked both his confidence and trade-bait value. Which direction he heads in his sophomore season will be a major storyline for the crease crew of the Flames.

RenuSahota: (B-)

Our Final Grade: C+

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