Player of the Week: December 8th-15th
If there was ever a time for a player to step up during a long trip, the time was now. The Boston Bruins have been decimated by injuries, the flu and Shawn Thornton’s suspension, but Jarome Iginla would not let that any of that get in the way of the task at hand.
Iginla scored three goals in the Bruins last four games including a two-goal performance against the Edmonton Oilers where he had a plus-3 rating. Iginla was snake-bitten early on in the year, but now he is finding his stride playing his type of hockey. He now has eight goals and 11 assists and a plus-14 rating through the team’s first 33 games of the 2013-14 season.
Over the long road trip, Iginla made his long awaited return to Calgary where he spent 16 outstanding seasons playing for the Flames. He received a thunderous ovation and a curtain call at the end of the game. He was the franchise icon and captain before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
Before the game with Calgary where Iginla was dressing in the opposing locker room, he shared his thoughts with his return to the place where he spent so much of his career.
“I’m trying to prepare myself,” Iginla said. “I don’t plan on being extremely emotional, but I don’t know. I really want to try and take it as it comes. It will be different. I guess I don’t rule it out.”
Iginla received “Iggy” chants during warm-ups and the loud cheers continued during the pre-game ceremonies where a video tribute was played.
Calgary did it right for their all-time leading scorer with 525 goals and 570 assists in 1,219 games.
After the team traveled to Calgary and Edmonton, they made their way to Vancouver for the first time since their 2011 Stanley Cup Championship.
Many believed the Canucks were going to stand stall and not put up with any of the Bruins “tough guy antics” and without Thornton, someone would need to step in for the B’s if that moment occurred. Well, you were just hoping it wasn’t your first-line power forward who stepped it.
Jarome Iginla did indeed fight Ryan Kesler of all players early on in the first period where Iginla missed the rest of the frame with an ugly finger injury, but he is a hockey player and returned. Iginla knew the B’s could ill afford to lose another player so he gutted it out.
Iginla is showing why he is one of the best forwards of all time. His all around game is a thing of beauty and the B’s need him healthy in order to be playing deep into May and June.