Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 03/23/14 at 01:07 AM ET
The "pointing to the heavens" thing after registering some sort of point in sports may be overdone, but Tomas Tatar (who lost his dad) and now Matt Stajan have gone about the procedure for the right reasons, as the Hockey News's Casey Ippolito ntoes:
It’s been a difficult time for Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan.
Following the death of his newborn son, Stajan took a personal leave to grieve with his wife, Katie. The Flames gave him the option to take the rest of the season off. After all, the Flames are basement dwellers, and Stajan’s future in Calgary was secured with a recent contract extension. But Stajan, loyal to the game he loves as he is to his family, rejoined the flames after a couple weeks. After an eight-game absence, he returned to the Flames lineup.
Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers, Stajan found himself with a penalty shot. He walked in and made a slick move on Viktor Fasth, scoring on the backhand. In the moments that followed, Stajan’s teammates congratulated him, acknowledging a moment that was much bigger than the game.
Stajan (1 goal, 3 assists) and the Flames blew out Edmonton 8-1, but Stajan's goal definitely stood out, as did the hugs he received on the bench.
Per the Canadian Press:
It was an emotional game for Stajan, who pointed up to the sky after scoring on a penalty shot in honour of his newborn son, who died earlier this month.
"That one means a lot," he said. "It's been obviously not easy and that one was for the little guy. It felt good and it gave us some puck-luck after too. We'll move on now and I'll remember that one forever."
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