Sven Baertschi

Untouchable Baertschi looking to build on strong 2013 finish

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From Kris Chucko to Matt Pelech to Greg Nemisz, the Calgary Flames have not had the most success with their first-round draft picks over the last decade.

In Sven Baertschi, they’re hoping that will change.

Baertschi was chosen 13th overall in 2011 after tearing up the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. Less than a year later, the Swiss winger had Flames fans chanting his name during a brief stint with the big club in which he scored three goals in five games.

But 2013 was more of a struggle, no thanks to a hip-flexor injury. The 20-year-old finished with just three goals in 20 games, and with one big lesson learned.

“I learned that you’ve got to earn it,” Baertschi said, per NHL.com. “They’re not going to give you everything, or anything, just because you’re a first-round pick. No one cares. They’re too busy. There’s too much at stake.

“But I know I belong here. I think it helps that I finished the season strong.”

Indeed he did, with all three of his goals, plus six assists, coming in his last seven games.

In a related story, Baertschi was one of just four Flames that general manager Jay Feaster said were untouchable at the trade deadline. The others were Curtis Glencross, Mark Giordano, and T.J. Brodie.

For Baertschi, his goals for next season start with a modest one: make the team.

“I’ve got to make sure I get my spot,” he said. “As a player, you never want to give up your spot. Last year, I got sent down. With that, I gave up a spot. I don’t want that to happen again.”

More Calgary Flames day on PHT:

Goalie Ramo is wild card for Calgary

Just how bad will the Flames be next year?

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)