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Flames' Rittich proving summer of sacrifice was worth the effort

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CALGARY — Standing in front of the Flames media wall for a prolonged discussion on his three-point night, Johnny Gaudreau was suddenly the recipient of a pretty good shove.

The man administering the jolt, David Rittich, had just delivered his second career NHL shutout and playfully suggested it was his turn to take the spotlight.

Indeed it was.

Posting a 34-save goose egg to give the Flames a 3-0 win over Vancouver in their season opener, Rittich officially started his quest to prove a summer of sacrifice would pay off as the team’s new go-to guy.

A playful sort whose dedication to his craft included cutting down his Coca Cola intake, Rittich chuckled when asked whose idea it was to work out four hours a day.

“It wasn’t my idea,” laughed the 27-year-old Czech whose broken English endears him to teammates and fans alike.

“It was for conditioning to be strong, and mentally strong. You’re going to be tired in a game but you keep battling. It’s for now. I’m guarantee it’s going to be all year.”

The two biggest questions facing the Calgary Flames this season revolve around playoff redemption and........

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