In Calgary, Svenmania is the new Linsanity
It’s a Svenderful time of the year for Flames fans.
They’ve been overcome by Svensanity.
The atmosphere in Calgary is Sventastic.
That’s because 19-year-old rookie Sven Baertschi -- recalled from WHL Portland eight days ago -- has taken the city by storm. He’s scored three goals in four games as the Flames have rallied to within a single point of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
On Thursday, Baertschi scored just 17 seconds into a 4-1 win over Phoenix, picking off a defensive-zone pass from Keith Yandle and putting it past Mike Smith for his third goal in as many games.
“Before the game, they showed us they play a lot of passes in front of the net,” Baertschi told the Calgary Herald. “So as soon as he got the puck, I saw him. He was looking at the other d-man. I was just waiting. I figured if he didn’t pass, I would go back.
“I saw he was set to pass, so I stepped in and had it right on my tape.”
It’s good times in Calgary right now. At no point was that more evident when Baertschi nearly scored his second goal against Phoenix (he narrowly failed to convert a 2-on-1) -- the rookie was immediately serenaded by chants of “Bar-chee! Bar-chee!” from the Saddledome faithful.
More, from the Herald:
Asked about the impromptu serenade, Baertschi blushed.
Yeah, I heard that,” Baertschi said. “It was exciting.”
Walking by the scrum, Jarome Iginla chirped in.
“Ahh, but didn’t someone say they were saying Sarichy?” Iginla teased, referring to veteran defenceman Cory Sarich. “We weren’t sure.”
Unfortunately for the Flames, the good times might end soon. Because he was an emergency recall under the NHL-CHL agreement, Baertschi must return to Portland as soon as one of Calgary’s injured forwards returns to the lineup (expected to be one of Lee Stempniak, Tim Jackman or Lance Bouma.)
That said, Baertschi isn’t focusing on when he’ll have to leave. He’s too busy enjoying his time in the show.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” he said. “Maybe play tomorrow, maybe not. It’s their decision. If guys come back, I have to leave.
“It’s been great so far. We’re winning so everyone’s excited about that.”