Sean Monahan is making a convincing case for the crown. Apparently, though, the nickname is already spoken for. “They call (Reto Berra) the King of Shootouts in Switzerland,” revealed Calgary Flames winger Sven Baertschi after Friday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers at the Saddledome. Monahan might have something to say about that. For the second time in less than a week, the 19-year-old centre — you know, the kid with the wicked snapshot and the ice-water running through his veins — had the decisive snipe in the skills competition. He’s two-for-two at the NHL level. Both have been game-winners. Not bad, kid. “You’ve gotta be calm, and you’ve gotta be confident in your ability or you won’t know what to do or you won’t know where to place the puck,” Monahan said. “I try to be confident with the puck and do whatever I can to put it in.” Seems to be working. Friday’s shootout was in its sixth round — Jiri Hudler and Michael Cammalleri had scored for the Flames, while Brad Boyes, and Tomas Fleischmann had replied for the Panthers — when the home-side's head coach, Bob Hartley, tapped Monahan on the shoulder. The sixth-overall selection from the 2013 NHL Draft snapped a shot under Tim Thomas’ blocker to put the Flames ahead. At the other end, Berra denied Jimmy Hayes to officially end it. It’s the Calgary club's first shootout win on Saddledome ice since Feb. 11, 2012, a span of 650 days. Back then, they didn’t have Monahan. Or Berra. Although the Flames starting netminder didn’t have his finest performance, Baertschi had no doubts he would deliver in the skills competition. “I can’t even remember the last time he lost in a shootout in Switzerland,” Baertschi said. “This summer, we practised with, like, 10 guys, and it was Reto’s first practice with us. He wanted us to go on him in shootouts, so everybody went twice, and only one guy scored. One goal. Out of 20 shots.
Calgary Flames top Florida Panthers in a shootout
Calgary Sun | Nov 23