BUZZ OVER BERRA'S BICYCLE KICK
Reto Berra’s National Hockey League career is just eight games old, but the Calgary Flames goaltender will be hard pressed to top his best save from Wednesday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Just seven minutes into the bout, Ryan Johansen set up Jack Johnson with a backdoor, cross-ice pass with Dennis Wideman in the penalty box; Berra made a spectacular bicycle kick save to keep the game scoreless.
“I was still on that side,” Berra said. “The puck was already there and that’s just instinct. I just tried to do something and that was kick. Goalies used to do that a lot with the pads. I just tried to get something there because I knew he was going to shoot it hard right away. I had probably no chance to go in a nice, compact butterfly slide. I had to try something. It was luck, too.”
Wideman was thankful for the bailout from Berra.
“It was one of those old school, double pad stacks and he kicked the leg up,” he said. “It was pretty impressive. I was in the box for that too, so it saved me a little.
Coach Bob Hartley had a perfect view of the save from the bench. Watching the play unfold, he expected to see his club down 1-0 after Johnson’s chance.
“We felt that he was beat from the bench,” Hartley said. “Johnson had a wide-open net and still, Johnson didn’t let up on it, he didn’t take it for granted, went top corner. It was a bullet and suddenly that skate came up and got it. That kept us in the game and that’s what he’s doing for us.”
MONAHAN DOWNED, BUT NOT OUT
Practice on Wednesday wasn’t without a scare.
Working on the power play, Wideman uncorked a blast from the point that caught Sean Monahan’s left foot. With action coming to a screeching halt, he struggled to the bench before hobbling down the tunnel.
He returned to the ice a few minutes later.
“It’s fine,” he said. “It was just a little stinger and it burns for a bit but it’s good.”
“That’s part of practice,” Hartley said. “We want to practice like we play but I have to admit when I saw him take that shot I got worried for a while. He’s okay. The hockey gods were on our side this morning.”
GALIARDI COULD SIT
Not participating in line rushes at practice on Thursday, TJ Galiardi could find himself the odd forward out when the Flames host the Florida Panthers on Friday.
Hartley confirmed as much after the skate.
“I know that he’s a very proud man but the bottom line, it’s performances that dictate your ice time,” he said. “Where we’re sitting right now, we’re not happy. Warnings have certain effects but sometimes you need to send messages.”
In 22 games this season, Galiardi has one goal and six points and hasn’t scored since the second game of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Even though we’re going through a rebuild, everyone has to be accountable,” he said. “Right now, we need more. Like I said last night, you can’t win games with only one line. You can’t take it for granted. This game doesn’t owe us nothing. We owe everything to this game. It’s the same rule for everyone whether you’re a kid, whether you’re a veteran, you need to step up and when you don’t, there’s going to be consequences.”
“I rarely saw a toe save going top corner. That’s almost a Cirque du Soleil act. He’s a very proud individual. He works hard. I saw him make a few of those saves in the Swiss league when I was there.
-Hartley on Berra’s save
The Flames play host to the Panthers on Friday (7 p.m. MT, SNET-W).
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