PLAYING WITH CONFIDENCE
Matt Stajan's move up to the top line, playing between Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla, has been almost seamless. After spending a good portion of the season centering the fourth line, injuries forced head coach Brent Sutter to shuffle his lines and place the forward on the first line. The increase in minutes and pressure hasn't seemed to faze Stajan at all and he heads into tonight's game on three-game point streak.
"I think when you play more, you feel more comfortable out there," the 28 year-old said. "You get your confidence back."
The pivot believes the increase in minutes has been the key in his ability to elevate his play and provide the team with not only some offence but a responsible two-way presence.
"I think sometimes you're your own worst enemy when you maybe make a mistake and you're not playing as much. You sit on the bench and think about it for too long. You're not out there for maybe five or seven minutes.
"But when you're playing all the time, you don't have time to think about it. You've just got to go out there and play. Your hockey instincts take over."
Last season did not go the way Stajan would have liked it to - scoring just six goals and 31 points - but he isn't looking at this point in the season as his way of proving his doubters wrong.
"I want to help this team win hockey games," he said. "Obviously, I didn't have a good year last year and I know that. But that's the past.
"It doesn't even matter what we did last game. We've got to worry about our last 13 games here and start with tonight. There won't be a tomorrow if we let a bad week sink in right now. That's my focus."
COMEAU CLOSE TO RETURNING
Forward Blake Comeau participated in the morning skate and is hoping to return to the lineup tonight. Sutter said the 26 year-old will skate in warm-ups and will be a game time decision.
"I'm feeling good," Comeau smiled. "It's my second skate with the full team, doing some battle drills and stuff like that. Trying to get it strong. I feel good (but) the end decision is with Brent. I'm going to prepare like I'm in tonight."
Comeau has been sidelined with an upper body injury since Mar. 2. Having to sit in the press box while his teammates battle for a playoff spot has been frustrating for him.
"In New York, we had never been in a race this tight so it's definitely a new and awesome atmosphere for myself. It was tough to watch but when the guys are playing as well as they are and winning like they are, it definitely makes things a little easier."
In 45 games with the Flames this season, the Meadow Lake native has recorded four goals and 11 points.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Scott Hannan needs 4 points for 200. He also needs 5 games for 900.
Alex Tanguay needs 4 assists for 500.
Tom Kostopoulos needs 5 assists for 100.
Mark Giordano needs 7 assists for 100.