Flames’ rookie Baertschi could play Saturday; Calgary seeks ‘overall toughness’

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It’s been almost a full month since Calgary Flames forward Sven Baertschi has played in a National Hockey League game.

That might change Saturday, when the Flames host their Northwest Division foes, the Minnesota Wild.

The 20-year-old Baertschi has been held out of the lineup since Jan. 26 with a hip flexor injury. Sitting out hasn’t been an enjoyable experience.

“It’s been a long time,” Baertschi told the Calgary Sun.

“I never like to be injured, you just wait the whole time and spend a lot of time in the weight room when you want to be on the ice. Now, it’s good to be back in a normal practice.”

If Baertschi does play, it might not be the only change to the Flames lineup.

Calgary on Thursday recalled Akim Aliu from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.

That move appears to be a message that a little more toughness is needed in Calgary’s game.

Flames head coach Bob Hartley wasn’t pleased with his team’s lack of response when L.A. Kings forward Trevor Lewis ran goalie Joey MacDonald in Wednesday’s loss.

“There’s a myriad of things I guess you could consider toughness on the ice,” Hartley told the Calgary Herald.

“For us, we need to be a group that stands up for one another and also, I guess have, have an aggressive tone to our game.

“I guess that will give you overall toughness.”