Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/15/13
Sean Monahan has a bit of extra luggage on this five-game road-trip. A walking boot. The Calgary Flames rookie sensation returned to the lineup for Saturday’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabres, but he’ll continue to wear a protective cast away from the rink after missing seven consecutive contests due to a hairline fracture in his left foot. “It feels good,” Monahan told reporters after Saturday’s matinee in Buffalo, the first stop on this lengthy sojourn. “There’s no pain. I think it’s back to normal.” What’s not quite back to normal — at least, it wasn’t against the last-place Sabres — is Monahan’s on-ice performance. The 19-year-old centre logged 15:20 of icetime at First Niagara Center, firing two shots on goal and winning only three of 10 faceoffs. Although he certainly wasn’t the only Flames skater who seemed to struggle in the penalty-filled game, his boss was blunt with his assessment of Monahan’s play. “I would have expected more from Monie,” said Flames head coach Bob Hartley. “He’s a young kid, and he’s going to have his ups and downs. (Saturday), with no morning skate, everything was against him. I thought he survived out there.” A few minutes earlier, even before Hartley’s post-game address, Monahan was equally critical.
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