Matt Stajan's reaction when he scored early in Saturday's game against the Vancouver Canucks spoke volumes. Stajan, who went through 11 games in his latest goal-scoring drought, batted a rebound past Roberto Luongo to make it 2-0 and celebrated by slamming into the glass at the end boards. You could understand the emotional release considering the offensive troubles which have beset Stajan essentially from the moment he was acquired by Calgary from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Dion Phaneuf trade midway through last season. The Flames and their faithful had better hope to see more of the same from Stajan. Not necessarily the smacks into the glass, but the goal scoring. With David Moss suffering an ankle injury in Monday's practice, the already-thin Flames centre corps took a major hit. The onus will soon be on Stajan to take a bigger role. The same goes for Olli Jokinen and young Mikael Backlund. But — at this junction in the season — it's time for Stajan to step up, quite likely as the centre for Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay on the top line. At first, it would seem the obvious move is to put Jokinen into that slot. However, Jokinen has settled into a strong two-way role on a line with Curtis Glencross and Rene Bourque, and we know the past history when he and Iginla skate on the same line — not much happens. As much as Backlund's future should be among the top two lines, it may be a bit early to put him in that position.
Stajan's chance to shine
Calgary Sun | Mar 15