Former New Jersey Devils forward, Tomas Tatar, finally scored his first goal of the season. That goal came on December 11th in the Colorado Avalanche’s 28th game of the year.
The former Devils forward didn’t play his cards right over the summer. Tatar revealed that he turned down an offer from general manager Tom Fitzgerald to remain in New Jersey. After rejecting the offer, Tatar went a long while unsigned before the Colorado Avalanche signed him to a $1.5 million contract.
Before Monday night’s tilt against the Calgary Flames, Tatar had not found the goal column in 25 games played. In those 25 games, Tatar collected eight assists. He hasn’t quite found his place in the lineup, either. Tatar has started games anywhere between the second and fourth lines in Colorado. He’s even occasionally been a healthy scratch.
Tatar revealed to Colorado Hockey Now that he’s never had a stretch of games this long where he’s struggled to find the back of the net.
Lots of happy Avs after Tomas Tatar’s first goal pic.twitter.com/eybBbNtPZ7
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) December 12, 2023
Tatar’s first of the season was certainly timely. The Avs trailed 1-0 in the first period to the Flames with the clock winding down to the first intermission. Ross Colton, below Calgary’s goal line, found Tatar in the slot and the former Devil beat Dan Vladar. Tatar’s Colorado teammates were evidently overjoyed for the veteran forward.
Last season, Tatar scored 20 goals and 48 points mostly deployed on the Devils’ second line alongside Nico Hischier. The Slovakian forward totaled 35 goals and 78 points in 158 career games with the Devils across two seasons.
In Tatar’s 13-season career, he’s reached the 20-goal plateau seven times, one of which he just missed 30, potting 29 goals in the 2014-15 season skating for the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s certainly unlike Tatar to go this long without registering a single tuck. He’s surely removed the monkey from his back and now we’ll see if the high-octane offense in Colorado can propel Tatar closer to 20 goals the rest of the way.