Good time for Flames to find twine

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The start couldn’t have been much better.

Vesa Toskala came up with some big saves. The Calgary Flames came through with a powerplay goal.

Better yet, it came from the stick of Steve Staios.

First response to that might be, ‘Wait, Steve Staios is on the Flames powerplay?’

Answering those questions with his first of the season and first in Flames silks after coming down the highway from Edmonton at the trade deadline, Staios hopes it’s the start of something good.

The Flames ultimately lost the Sunday afternoon game

4-3 to the Minnesota Wild, but getting goals from the flailing Flames powerplay is always a good sign.

“We’ve been moving the puck around well on the powerplay and getting pucks to the net. Hopefully, that one was the start of many more,” said Staios, who went 86 games without a goal. He had last scored Jan. 16, 2009.

“For me, I’m getting a great opportunity here. I’ve had a lot of chances. I’m just trying to get pucks to the net.”

Staios stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in at about 200 lb. Like Robyn Regehr, who has also stood in on the powerplay at times this season, he can lean into a shot with authority.

It’s something Flames fans didn’t see much of when the 36-year-old was with the Oilers.

“In Edmonton, it was different. We had a bunch of powerplay defencemen, and it was hard to get them all the puck,” Staios said. “There wasn’t much of an opportunity for me there.

“There has been for me here. I want to continue to help out and take advantage of that opportunity.”

Opening the scoring at the Xcel Energy Center Sunday, Staios showed he has that potential even though he’s known as a stay-at-home defender.

He took a feed from Niklas Hagman and teed it up, beating Wild goaltender Josh Harding on the far side.

“I got open after Haggy made a good play off the wall,” Staios said. “It’s nice to see that go in, but you can never really enjoy it after a loss.”

Still, since it was the first of the contest and got the Flames off to the start they’d hoped for, the blueliner did enjoy it for a while.

“Excitement,” he said when asked what went through his mind after it went in. “I think a little bit of relief, too. It starts to get in your head a little bit.

“I don’t think I’m here to score goals, but you’re getting the opportunity, so you want to help your team out.”


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