NHL Insider: Iginla's still a star

  • Updated: March 22, 2014 - 11:01 PM

The veteran winger is the leading goal scorer for Eastern powerhouse Boston.


Jarome Iginla has been all smiles this season in helping the Boston Bruins become the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Iginla had a pair of goals on Monday against the Wild.

Photo: Charles Krupa • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Turns out Jarome Iginla’s demise was misreported. The former Calgary Flames heart and soul was supposed to be all but finished, his illustrious career tiptoeing to a conclusion because of legs and hands that were showing signs of slowing.

But as a smiling Iginla told me hours before his habitual roasting of the Wild last Monday, “I never thought I was done.”

Iginla, 36, signed with the Boston Bruins last summer, an unexpected union because Iginla turned down a trade to Boston last season and chose to go to Pittsburgh instead. The Bruins got the last laugh, sweeping the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals and then getting their man anyway in free agency.

The Bruins, riding a 12-game winning streak and a 20-2-3 run in their past 25, are the best team in the East and one of the deepest, most balanced teams in the NHL. Like a perfectly tailored suit, Iginla has fit impeccably.

Playing on a line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, Iginla leads the Bruins with 28 goals and is a plus-32. Last week, his winning goal against Minnesota was part of a string of three in four games.

Iginla, the all-time leading scorer against the Wild, is third among active players with 558 goals and fourth with 1,164 points.

“It’s been a really fun year,” Iginla said. “All the way from the start of training camp, it’s been a new experience. Different pressures, it’s been very enjoyable to be winning as a team, to be battling for the top of the conference for pretty much the whole year.

“I know the feeling on the other side when you’re battling for a playoff spot and every game is do or die, or a four-point game. It’s a nice change to have a different pressure, to try to better our own game as opposed to having to watch other teams. I know how that feels. This is more fun.”

After snubbing the Bruins last season, Iginla still hears the odd joke from teammates. At the start, Bruins fans didn’t know whether or not to accept him, although that changed rather quickly.

“Probably because they beat us [in the conference finals], and pretty handily,” Iginla said, laughing.

Teammates have definitely accepted him.

“He’s pretty quiet,” forward Chris Kelly said. “We have enough guys that spew. He just goes out and plays his game and plays hard and does everything extremely well. He’s not just a scorer. He plays hard, he fights, he blocks shots. He’s out there last minute when we’re up by a goal or down by a goal. He’s one of the best all-around players of all time.”

And he’s an incredible influence on Boston’s youngsters. Monday morning before playing the Wild, the first player on the ice for the Bruins’ morning skate was Jarome Iginla.

“I’ve admired him for a long time, but sometimes you don’t really appreciate somebody until you actually play with them,” said the Bruins’ Gregory Campbell. “He’s been in hockey so long, yet he’s still hungry for so more. He goes as far as taking his skates home so he can work on his shot. It rubs off in the dressing room.”

Iginla knows people felt he was on the decline, but his philosophy is “every year is a chance to prove yourself. I’m fortunate to be here in Boston because I didn’t know if that could ever be the case.”

In Campbell’s mind, Iginla is the feel-good story in this year’s NHL.

“He’s done so much for the game, especially in Canada and specifically in Calgary,” Campbell said. “But sometimes you get stuck in the same pattern. I think a new environment has been really good for him, coming here and having the opportunity to have a fresh look on things and really have the opportunity to chase his goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

“It’s something that has been motivating him for a long time, and Boston has rejuvenated him in a sense.”

  • related content

  • NHL Short Takes

    Saturday March 22, 2014

    Tweet misinterpreted? Really?After a 3-2 loss to Detroit last week, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said goalie James Reimer’s...

  • Wild's week ahead

    Saturday March 22, 2014

    the wild’s week aheadSunday: 6:30 p.m. at Detroit (NBCSN)Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. vs. Vancouver (FSN)Thursday: 7 p.m. at St. Louis (FSN)Saturday:...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8:00 PM
UNLV 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM





question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters