That’s been a common theme in the Calgary Flames’ video sessions, with the coaching staff encouraging snakebitten left-winger Sven Baertschi to put more pucks on net.
“I had a few opportunities last game where I made the wrong decision. I had second thoughts,” Baertschi said after Saturday’s morning skate at the Saddledome.
“I had the 3-on-1, the 3-on-2 and the 2-on-1, and all three times, I passed. Afterwards, I regret that I was trying to make that pass because I know that I can shoot the puck, too. I’ve gotta get on that path.
“I’ve gotta make sure that when (the pass) is not there, it’s not there. Sometimes — most of the time, actually — the shot is the best play.”
Heading into Saturday’s Battle of Alberta against the Edmonton Oilers, Baertschi had gone a dozen consecutive contests — plus three trips to the press-box as a healthy scratch — without a goal. He had only registered 12 shots on goal during that span.
The 21-year-old is optimistic he’ll soon find the mark. In the meantime, he’s putting an emphasis on being a bit more mysterious with the puck on his stick.
“You don’t want it to be like, when they have pre-scout, ‘Oh, he’s not going to shoot. He’s just going to pass,’ ” Baertschi said. “I’m trying to look at guys like Nicklas Backstrom (of the Washington Capitals). He’s really good at that. Guys never know what he’s going to do. On the powerplay, he pretty much walks toward the net the whole time, and nobody knows if he is going to shoot or if he’s going to pass.
“And then, most of the time, he makes the right decision. That’s why I think he’s so successful.”
Around the boards
A thoughtful entrepreneur was trying to sell paper bags to Oilers fans on the Saddledome concourse. With a reported asking price of $20 apiece, no word on how sales were going ... Flames C Joe Colborne, who was raised in Calgary and idolized the likes of Theo Fleury, Jarome Iginla and Joe Nieuwendyk as a youngster, was antsy for his first taste of a rivalry that was so special to him as a fan. “I’ve seen that Steve Smith goal probably 100,000 times, even though I never saw it live. I feel like it’s bragging rights forever, almost, for the Flames on that one,” Colborne said, referring to Smith’s own-goal in Game 7 of the 1986 Smythe Division Final, nearly four years before he was even born. “It’s just the intensity that I remember. This probably isn’t a big thing, but I was at this game and I remember Zack Stortini and Jarome fighting. Jarome was just so big to me, and seeing him go up against one of their tough guys was pretty cool” ... A timely tidbit after the University of Calgary’s football team advanced Sunday to the Vanier Cup: Colborne’s father, Paul, was a quarterback for the Dinos — actually, they were the Dinosaurs back then — for three seasons.