Had the Calgary Flames pulled off a comeback win or even garnered a loser point, Matt Stajan may have been able to smile.
Instead, there wasn’t much celebrating for the centre over the fact he finally scored a goal.
Stajan ended an 18-game goal-scoring slump with his third-period tally in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild, but it was much too little and much too late for the losing club.
“It’s nice to score, but it doesn’t mean much when you lose,” Stajan said. “ Hopefully this gets me going offensively and contributing more.”
The Flames need more from Stajan, who has just two goals in his last 45 games.
Check that, they need much more than the two goals and 18 points he’s mustered in
27 games, during a season hampered by a couple of injuries and the first of a four-year, US$14-million contract.
He has been a hard-luck case, too, missing an open net against the Toronto Maple Leafs the other night and also having a goal overturned by video review just over a week ago in Los Angeles.
Stajan, who has returned from a two-game stint in the press box as a healthy scratch with a goal and an assist in a pair of outings, knows he must play a more complete game.
That’s why he wasn’t about to crow after scoring his team’s lone goal against the Wild.
“I had too many turnovers, and we weren’t creating chances,” Stajan added. “They clog the neutral zone, and if you try to do too much, they make you get away from your game.”