To gauge the degree of change at the Scotiabank Saddledome, just listen to Bob Hartley rave about Matt Stajan.
“I love Matty,” the Calgary Flames head coach was saying Monday morning as the players packed up for the charter flight to Minnesota. “I think he’s a great student of the game. He’s a great hard-worker. And it seems that he wants more.
“I have absolutely no problem with this. I’m very happy with him.”
Happy? Is this is the same Matt Stajan who resided in Brent Sutter’s dog house pretty much full-time before Hartley took over?
The fourth-line Matt Stajan? The healthy-scratch Matt Stajan? The downtrodden Matt Stajan?
“He’s been unbelievable,” Hartley gushed. “He’s been on pucks. He’s forechecking. He’s winning big faceoffs. He’s a great penalty-killer.
“Five-on-five, I use him against the top forwards of the other team.”
The resurgence of Matt Stajan has turned into one of the major storylines this season for a Flames team sitting (as of Monday afternoon) just two points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Stajan benefitting from Hartley’s confidence
Calgary Herald | Feb 26