Two shots to the head.
That is, apparently, a recent addition to David Rittich’s pre-game routine on the morning of any starting assignment, a quirky ritual that won’t change the stereotype that puck-stoppers tend to be a bit strange.
But, hey … this wacky warm-up helped Rittich earn a Nov. 24 call-up to join the Calgary Flames, then helped the 25-year-old from Jihlava, Czech Republic, earn his first big-league victory the next night against the Colorado Avalanche in the Mile High City.
“I guess down in Stockton, Colin Zulianello, at the end of morning skate before a game earlier this year, for some reason he shot two pucks at his head, and (Rittich) ended up getting a shutout,” relayed Flames goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet, who’s in constant contact with Zulianello, the netminding tutor at AHL Stockton.
“So before our game in Colorado, I text Zully: ‘What does he like in the morning to get ready?’ So he tells me this and that, and then he goes, ‘Oh, there’s one other weird thing — he might want you to shoot two pucks at his head.’ ”
To read the rest of Wes Gilbertson’s story, please visit the Calgary Sun.