Krahn along for ride

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:55 PM ET


 VANCOUVER -- Not often at a loss for words, Brent Krahn was left speechless the other night.

 That's because he'd returned to Calgary in time to watch Tuesday's playoff game between the Flames and Vancouver Canucks at the Saddledome.

 "Wow," he said.

 "All I could think was, 'Wow' "

 Then the words came.

 "It was something else. I'd never seen atmosphere like that in my life. It makes you want to be out there," he said. "It makes you want to give that extra inch, fight that extra mile just to get to the NHL and play in the playoffs because it's an experience."

 It's an experience from which he's not that far removed.

 With Krahn's first professional season now in the books at the minor-league level, he was recalled by the Flames to be the No. 3 goalie.

 It may be no big deal but consider the Canucks aren't that far away from having to turn to Alex Auld with Dan Cloutier on the shelf due to an ankle injury.

 Krahn doesn't want to think about his situation that way but is more than happy to be soaking up the excitement from being around the Flames for as long as possible.

 "I was hoping (to be recalled) but didn't want to say anything," he said after practising yesterday with the rest of the healthy scratches. "So I told myself, 'Don't be disappointed if they don't.'

 "But when they did, I was so excited."

 Just the latest reason for the goaltender drafted ninth overall in 2000.

 Krahn, whose aspirations appeared to be off-course due to a stream of knee injuries, split his season between a trio of clubs: Las Vegas of the ECHL and Lowell and San Antonio of the American Hockey League.

 He fared very well in the first two stops, posting a 2.61 average and .925 save percentage in Vegas and 2.62 average with a .924 percentage in Lowell before finishing with San Antonio with somewhat mixed results.

 He went there because the Florida Panthers affiliate needed a goalie. Krahn posted a 3.44 average and .884 save percentage with a club that finished well out of the playoffs.

 "It was still a great experience and I wouldn't have traded it for the world," said Krahn, who was expected to spend the bulk of the season in the lower-class ECHL.

 "I realized what I have to do at the next level, game in and and game out. I worked on a lot of my little tendencies."

 He's hoping enough to be that much closer to being ready to hold the fort for the Flames in a future playoff run.

 Until that time, he's pretty happy watching from the seats.

 "I was nervous sitting in the crowd (Tuesday)," he said.

 "We had a lot of good fans around us who were loud and noisy and I was sitting there watching closely to see what was going on.

 "Somebody came up to me and said, 'We'll see you in a few years.'

 "It was kind of neat."


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