"They called him King of Shootouts in Switzerland," he grinned. "He comes over here and he does so great, so far. It's good for us to have him back there. It's always good to have a confident goalie and even better if the guys are confident in him."
According to Baertschi, Berra has been dubbed as the King of Shootouts for quite some time.
"I can't even remember the last time he lost in a shootout in Switzerland when I followed him. It was like, 'Shootout again? Berra won again. Stopped all five of them.' He's been so good.
"This summer, we practiced and it was like 10 guys. Reto, it was his first practice with us, and he wanted us to go on him shootouts. So everybody went twice. And one guy scored. One goal out of 20 shots."
The next time the Flames practice shootouts, Baertschi may be the only one to score on him as Berra revealed his secret for success to the young winger earlier this year.
"I'm not going to say anything but yeah, he has a secret."
On Wednesday night, Swiss netminder Reto Berra got the C of Red on their feet in the first period with a stop that could be dubbed the Save Of The Year.
While the Flames were shorthanded, an unimpeded Jack Johnson skated to the left face-off circle and, it appeared, had a wide open net to hammer the puck into.
But, Berra, who was on the other side of the net anticipating a shot from Ryan Johansen, managed to get across and threw his legs in the air just as Johnson sent a shot towards the net. He kicked the puck out of mid-air with his right foot, spurring on wild applause from the crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"We should be watching that one for years to come," Joe Colborne afterwards.
YOUR SAY: Is Berra's bicycle stop Save Of The Year material?
When asked who he was sizing up on the Winnipeg Jets roster, sniper-turned-pugilist Lee Stempniak broke out into a grin.
"I think I'm done," he chuckled. "It's been weird. I think its some frustration boiling over."
The winger has been in two fights in the Flames last two games, dropping the gloves with Brendon Dillon (Dallas Stars) on Thursday and Andrew Ference (Edmonton Oilers) on Saturday.
"I think Big Ern (Brian McGrattan) is a little bit worried. He's only got one more major than me this year. He's feeling threatened."
Prior to those two scraps, Stempniak had been in just three regular season fights in his 577 games in the NHL and one pre-season tilt with Dan Carcillo back in 2009.
Forward Tim Harrison, who was drafted by the Flames in the sixth round this past summer, picked up his first collegiate points in the Colgate Raiders 4-3 win over Clarkson on Saturday night.
As per the Raiders post-game press release, Harrison was credited with two assists in the victory. The freshman has dressed in 10 games for Colgate this year.
Calgary Flames prospect Jon Gillies, a sophomore, has become the Providence College Friars all-time shutouts leader after making 22 saves in a 3-0 victory over the University of Vermont on Saturday night.
It is Gillies' eighth collegiate shutout and his eighth win of the year.
The Flames selected Gillies in the third round (75th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.
When Jay Feaster called out Mark Jankowski's name on Friday night in Pittsburgh, the immediate reaction was loud and varied.
Some were shocked. Some were angry. Some were pleased.
But, all in all, there were a lot of questions about the selection and the trade that sent the Flames original first round pick, 14th overall, to Buffalo for picks 21 and 42.
Here's why I like the move:
Jankowski absolutely dominated his competition this season, playing for Stanstead College in Quebec. He put up 53 goals and 94 points in just 57 games. Yes, the competition level isn't the same as playing major junior but his raw skill and incredible vision got people talking. By the second half of the season, there were NHL scouts at every single game he played.
"I give our guys credit - they look past what the level of competition is and say, ‘What’s the skill level?’" Feaster said. "Our guys are pretty confident that that skill is going to translate into the next level and ultimately make him an NHLer."
The pivot is headed to the USHL next year, suiting up for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Dubuque has garnered the reputation as an excellent development program and Jankowski will benefit greatly from the tutelage of Fighting Saints general manager and head coach Jim Montgomery.
Taking these factors into consideration, remember Jankowski's birthday is September 13, 1994. If he was born just two days later, he would have been eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. Where would he have been ranked with NHL Central Scouting next spring? Given his progression this season, which saw him jump over 30 spots to land at 43 at the end of the year, one could easily argue Jankowski could have been a top 10 draft pick.
Another complainant thrown around is that the Flames could have grabbed Jankowski with their second round pick, 42nd overall. John Weisbrod broached that topic on Friday night, stating he knew at least two other teams that would have taken him in the first round.
If you doubt that claim, remember where the Flames were picking in the second round. With the kind of raw talent Jankowski displayed this season, you have to think a team with an early second round pick would have snapped him up. With the 11th pick in the second round, the Flames would have likely been out of luck with that strategy.
There is also argument that there were better players available at 21 but really, I take that notion with a grain of salt. The draft turns a lot of people into armchair GM's and scouts when in reality they haven't seen any of these kids play live. And you need to have seen a prospect play live to truly evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Sitting on your couch and watching the World Juniors or the Memorial Cup doesn't make you a scout.
So, when it comes to evaluation of a player, I think I'm going to trust the opinion of people who have spent countless hours in rinks, watching these prospects game in and game out, more than a person who has seen a game or two on TV.
To sum up that lengthy missive on the Jankowski pick, if you are confident in a guy's abilities and see him being the best player to come out of this draft, why wouldn't you take him?
You also have to factor Patrick Sieloff, the Flames second round pick, into the equation. The shutdown blueliner ranked highly on Calgary's list heading into the draft and there was some discussion about, if Jankowski had been drafted before the Flames got to him at 21, taking Sieloff in the first round.
A lot of scouts think he could be a top four defenceman in the NHL and he is exactly the kind of prospect all teams need. Sieloff is that defensive-minded d-man who, first and foremost, takes care of business in his own end. He's also known for his absolutely ferocious checks. One scout told The Hockey News Sieloff was "probably the best open-ice hitter in the draft."
Playing for the US Development Team for the past two years, Sieloff logged big minutes every night playing alongside Jacob Trouba as the team's top pairing. Last year, he captured gold with Team USA at the IIHF Men's World U18 Championship.
He has been invited to Hockey USA's National Junior Evaluation Camp this summer where he will audition for a spot on Team USA's 2013 World Junior roster. After that, he's off to the OHL to spend the 2012-13 season with the Windsor Spitfires.
A pretty solid resume for an 18 year-old, if you ask me.
At the end of the day, the Flames picked up two individuals that look like they have the potential to be impact players in the NHL. Yes, you're going to have to wait a few years as they need the proper amount of time to develop but if they both reach their ceilings, what a home run for Calgary.
|Jon Gillies at the 2012 NHL Draft (Getty Images)|
Providence College head coach Nate Leaman will be coaching two Flames 2012 draft picks in the future as both first rounder Mark Jankowski and third rounder Jon Gilles are heading there over the course of the next couple of years.
Jankowski is expected to head to Dubuque in the 2012-13 season for developmental purposes before making the jump to Providence while Jon Gillies will be tending the cage in Rode Island this fall.
Leaman is extremely happy that he'll have Gillies on his roster next season.
"Jon is a big, talented goaltender who has played at a very high level for the past two years. He’s extremely athletic for being 6-foot-5."
Jankowski's year in Dubuque should be extremely beneficial in terms of his physical development and Leaman is looking forward to watching him progress.
"First and foremost, Mark is a person of very high character who works extremely hard. I believe he’s a guy who can do it all. He sees the ice well, can make plays and makes other players better.
"At this point he’s 170 pounds and needs to add strength, but the tools are there.”
Six of the seven Flames 2012 NHL Draft picks are on Twitter! Give them a follow:
Mark Jankowski (1st round, 21st overall) - @Janko61
Patrick Sieloff (2nd round, 42nd overall) - @PatSieloff
Brett Kulak (4th round, 105th overall) - @KULAK03
Ryan Culkin (5th round, 124th overall) - @Hulkinator
Coda Gordon (6th round, 165th overall) - @CocaCoda28
Matt DeBlouw (7th round, 186th overall) - @mdeblouw10
He lead the league in wins (31), games played (53) and saves made (1478). His GAA sat at a very respectable 2.77 and he had a .915 save percentage to his name last year. He recorded three shutouts in the 2011-12 campaign.
His sales pitch for Flames fans?
"I like to play against the top two lines, a shutdown defenceman. An open ice hitter. I look for that hit but I don't go out of my way for them.
"I'm not a big offensive guy but sometimes I will contribute ... but that's not really my game. It's more playing against the top line and going after those guys."
The Ann Arbor, MI product is headed to the OHL next season, joining the Windsor Spitfires.
"I'm looking forward to that," he said. "I've been up there a couple times now ... Basically, I don't think I could have went to a better organization in the OHL. The way they do things and put guys in the NHL ... it's awesome."
Sieloff has never been to Calgary but is very much looking forward to his first visit which will be this summer during the Flames annual development camp.
"I've heard all about how it's a beautiful place and it's a crazy rink. I've seen it on TV, all sold out and everything. It should be good."