Sean Monahan is many things. Young and green. Focused on his own game Focused on making a living in the National Hockey League. But he is not oblivious. So when he glides onto the ice to take a faceoff and he sees the San Jose Sharks deploy Joe Thornton . . . well let’s just say the kid knows what time it is. “Obviously they’re putting him out there for a reason — they want to capitalize on that (matchup)” Monahan 19 was saying after Sunday afternoon’s practice at the Toyota Sports Center. “That’s motivation for me and my linemates (Sven Baertschi and Jiri Hudler). We want to step up.” Less than five minutes into Saturday’s contest with the draw deep in Sharks territory Monahan got his first taste of Thornton. Then rather surprisingly it was the Flames who had done the hemming in. “I remember that shift” said Monahan. “Obviously you come to the bench and you talk about what you could do next time to put the puck in the back of the net. Me and my linemates know we can play against the best.” And if the rookie pivot doesn’t appear to care about who he’s facing then neither does his boss. In fact when the Sharks started pulling away Bob Hartley leaned on Monahan. “Because I felt he was probably our best centreman out there” said the Flames coach. “Still a young man still a kid. But he learns very quickly and he doesn’t get rattled.” While Sunday featured a lot of moving parts for the Flames — Derek Smith and Blair Jones assigned to the American Hockey League; Chris Breen and Roman Horak summoned from Abbotsford; Michael Cammalleri joining practice; Karri Ramo being announced as Monday’s starter — make no mistake Monahan remains the story. Local media ask about him. Opposing players are curious too. “It just seems like the kid can play — flat-out play” said Cammalleri. “If you look at guys who produce consistently in this league they have the ability to understand where they are where their teammates are where the other team’s players are — he seems to just play that way. He seems to have that knack for the game. “I haven’t seen it up close and personal . . . so it’ll be fun to get out there with him. He seems to be a special player. It’s fun.”