Fans have started calling him ‘Big Save Dave.’
David Rittich, backup-turned-breakout for the Calgary Flames, certainly doesn’t mind the moniker.
The key is to make it last.
“I heard it first time, two days ago,” Rittich grinned after Monday’s 7-2 shellacking of the Vegas Golden Knights at the Saddledome. “It’s nice if someone give me this nickname, but it’s another nickname. I probably have some nicknames from last year — ‘Terrible, Terrible Dave’ or something like that.”
Jeez, talk about being your own toughest critic.
He was never ‘Terrible, Terrible Dave,’ but Rittich has been one of the NHL’s surprise stories this fall after a mixed-bag rookie campaign.
Although it wasn’t the most stressful night for the winning netminder, the 26-year-old from the Czech Republic was sharp once again in Monday’s rout.
Rittich now owns a sparkling 7-1 mark in eight starts this season. He hasn’t officially wrestled the No. 1 job away from Mike Smith, but he’s at least temporarily laid claim to Calgary’s crease as his partner-in-pads has struggled mightily.
A fiery competitor on the ice and a fun-loving prankster once his work is done, Rittich was already a locker-room favorite. In the past few weeks, he has emerged as a fan favorite, too.
Head to Calgary Herald to read the full story, written by Wes Gilbertson.