Sean Monahan might challenge the throne in Calgary.
Though Berra has stopped 10 of 14 opposing shooters in two shootout victories this week, Monahan went 2-for-2 on opposing goalies in the same span - nabbing the extra point with both shootout winners for the Flames in each contest.
What would happen if the irresistible force meets an immovable object? Could the shooter beat the stopper?
Monahan wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know, Berra’s a good goalie,” he said. “He’s big and he’s quick. It’d be tough. You’ve got to read goalies and I think it’s tough to figure him out in that instance. I don’t know what would happen.”
The 6-foot-4 keeper felt he knew the answer.
“I have to say I’d probably stop him,” he said. “I think I would beat him.”
Baertschi was quick to weigh in, throwing support behind his countryman.
“You really put me on the spot here,” Baertschi said. “It’s tough to say. I’d probably go with Berra.
“I mean, Monny had two goals with the same move. I don’t know if he can pull any other moves out. That’s the thing. I don’t know if he can stickhandle and pull a nice move on Berra. Right now, Berra would probably be ready for that shot.”
Coach Bob Hartley was a little more scientific, and diplomatic, in his approach to answering the question.
“Usually, percentages the goalies always have the edge because you miss the net, hit the post, it still counts as a no-goal,” he said. “The pressure’s always on the shooter. On a one-shot (scenario), it could go either way."
The notion piqued Hartley’s curiousity though, promising a showdown to determine shootout supremacy.
“We’ll do it at practice on Monday.”
"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.
CALGARY, AB -- Bob Hartley is going back to Reto Berra.
And it’s the right crease call.
A day after the Calgary Flames goaltender allowed three goals in a six-minute span -- including one from below the goal line -- that pulled the Edmonton Oilers from a 2-0 deficit into their first win in six games, Hartley gave Berra vote of confidence by announcing him as the starter for Monday’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets.
“Obviously we all saw the third goal and I sat with him,” Hartley said. “It’s a mental challenge for him also. I felt that he played very well, gave us a chance. He was not overly busy but in the second period he made two, three pads saves at the other end and I felt that he was sharp.”
The stats may say otherwise. Berra allowed three goals on 23 shots as the Flames fell for a fifth consecutive game. The 6-foot-4 goaltender has been tagged with four of those losses.
But working Berra through his struggles as he adapts to both North American ice and the National Hockey League is essential for his development.
“Even though he’s 26 years old, there’s still a lack of experience at this level,” Hartley said. “He’s learning too, but he’s working and giving us a chance to play and I like everything I see out of him.”
The numbers may not reflect it, but he’s right.
In his six starts, Berra has recorded a save percentage of .900 or better just twice -- his debut against the Chicago Blackhawks (.955) on November 3rd and Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks (.914). In both contests, Berra singlehandedly stole points for Calgary.
Throwing him up against the Jets shows that Hartley thinks Berra can do it again.
And might just give Berra the confidence he can, too.
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.