Kukla's Korner

Above the Glass

Dear Calgary,

Right about now the one and only Sven Bartschi is in your town, getting ready for his NHL regular season debut. It’s hard to lose him right when the Portland Winterhawks are locked in a tight race for Division and Conference titles, but we are thrilled for him. Come Friday, you will get a glimpse of what we have been privileged to watch for the past two seasons. So allow me to share with you what he’s been up to these past six months, along with some tips for taking the greatest of care with your prize.

2 X 3 = 6. Sort of: In the past month, Sven has scored two hat tricks and come within 6 points of the 100-point mark for the season. From the Winterhawks web site: He is leading the WHL with a scoring average of 2.0 points per game, as he’s totaled 33 goals and 61 assists for 94 points in just 47 games this season. His 94 points is second on the team and ninth in the league. On Monday he was named the WHL’s Player of the Week after posting 10 points in four games, including four goals on Saturday against Seattle. It was Bartschi’s second Player of the Week Award this season. I could go on, but you get the idea. I’d put money down that he’ll pass 100 points and perhaps get another hat trick before it’s all said and done. Now there’s a thought – how about a hat trick for Calgary in his regular season debut? Speaking of which, when he’s looking for new and inventive ways to score, he goes right to the source:

Thanks, mom: One thing to know about Sven is that he’s far from home, but he keeps his family close. Which is a good thing, because they do stuff like coach him to his first career hat trick. On that note:

You can never have too many hat tricks: Sven is one of the most confident players on this team, but when you ask him stuff like “so, do you think you’ll score another hat trick or get to 100 points?” he’s still humble enough to tell you stuff like “one hat trick is enough for the season.” And “I don’t know, but anything is possible. There’s still some games left.” Sure. If you say so. I’ll print it and wait here while you go do all of the above anyway.

He knows why he’s here: When I saw him at Winterhawks training camp this season, we talked about his epic summer and somewhere in there he told me that “I’m here to have fun.” Aren’t we all?

Third time’s a charm: Sven was injured the last two times he was in Calgary, so it’s especially meaningful that he finally hit the jackpot. That being said, it’s fun you will have on Friday, Calgary. There is no one quite like Sven; he’s truly one of a kind. My only request is that you treat him as we have; with great care, the utmost respect and total admiration. I know that you will. So, I say go forth and conquer Calgary Flames fans. Portland will be behind you and Sven all the way.

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Comments

BrendonR's avatar

Awesome drafting by Feaster and Co., now its time to get him some young complementary pieces to build a future first line.

Posted by BrendonR on 03/08/12 at 06:08 PM ET

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I’d keep an eye on Max Reinhart. He and Sven played on a line together at the Young Stars Tournament last fall, and they were looking really good.

Posted by Samantha from Portland, Oregon on 03/08/12 at 08:10 PM ET

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About Above the Glass

Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.

I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass

Email: samantha@kuklaskorner.com