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Flames recall Markus Granlund, Joni Ortio; place Josh Jooris, Karri Ramo on injured reserve

Right when the Flames got healthy, two more injuries popped up, resulting in the recall of the Finnish Mafia.



Mikael Backlund returned from injury, and so, someone had to be sent down. Markus Granlund, being the perfect candidate – the lone recall who had yet to cement his place as an NHLer, and who was struggling as of late – was chosen. And then Josh Jooris got himself injured badly enough to put him on the injured reserve, so Granlund, being a centre who had just played in the NHL, got to come back up.

Then, there’s Karri Ramo. Last night, Ramo decided to go for a bit of a dive (thanks to Tumblr user maljic for the GIF):

And while he seemed possibly okay after the game, Rafa Diaz’s knee to his head did something, as he, too, is on the injured reserve. Jonas Hiller can’t be the only goalie on the roster, so the Flames have recalled Joni Ortio, who was just named to the AHL’s All-Star Classic – if he even goes now, because we don’t know how long he (or Granlund, for that matter), are going to stay up.

Together, the two prospects call themselves the Finnish Mafia, and it's adorable.

They've been separated – obviously – for most of the season, what with Granlund's initial recall back in October, and looked to be reunited when Granlund was sent down. I'm sure they both prefer playing together in the NHL, though, and while this almost certainly isn't a permanent thing, in the meantime, it's probably preferred.

Granlund has five goals and 13 points over the 29 games he's played for the NHL Flames this season. Ortio, meanwhile, has played 27 games for the Adirondack Heat – the second-most out of all AHL goalies – and has a .916 save percentage and three shutouts to show for his efforts.

Because we don’t know the extent of Jooris and Ramo’s injuries just yet, we don’t know how long these recalls are going to last (although Ramo isn’t expected to be out long). Hiller has the team’s next start, but with an upcoming back to back and Ortio clearly fresh, he may get some games in (then again, Hiller started both last back-to-backs, and the Canucks are a reasonably tough opponent; then again, Hiller hasn’t won against them this year, so… what I’m saying is it’s anybody’s guess, especially with the Flames not playing again until the following Thursday).

While Ortio may or may not play during his call up, Granlund certainly will. With Backlund back and clearly good to go, as exhibited by his goal and assist and high ice time in his return game against the Red Wings, Granlund should be able to play in a much more sheltered role: third line centre, behind Backlund and Sean Monahan. He was struggling prior to being reassigned, so having two excellent defensive centres ahead of him may allow him to find his NHL game once again.

by Ari Yanover