It was one thing for Brian Burke to question young Flame Sven Baertschi. From the upper levels of management, criticism is easily acceptable. But Thursday in Dallas was different. Baertschi didn’t skate on a line at the morning workout and, for the second time this season is headed towards being a healthy scratch. Make no mistake, this coach’s decision is going to resonate.
Baertschi spoke to some members of the media after skating. He was a pro, sincere and deliberate. But he was also an angry young man. After at first suggesting he had not heard directly from the coaching staff, Baertschi wisely said he needed to work more on the defensive side of his game. He believes he’s improved, but he knows more work is required. Coach Bob Hartley agrees. He stressed the need for three-zone play, and that Baertschi is a work in progress.
Back to the look of frustration Baertschi had with the media. Is he mad at himself, or is it something the Flames will need to keep a close eye on? He is a passionate young man and the coach is emotional. We could be heading to a danger zone. That’s something Baertschi and Hartley will have to decide and work out.
You toss in Sean Monahan’s success and the Baertschi scratch becomes magnified. One thing’s for sure, the young Swiss player has a tremendous upside. The Flames can’t afford to see it not come to fruition.