Iginla proud of perseverance
toronto» The whirlwind 24-hour period from what happened Saturday night in Montreal to what happened here Sunday night might be a story Jarome Iginla tells his grandchildren someday — or perhaps even shares in Toronto during his Hockey Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
On the heels of the Avalanche’s 10-1 massacre in Montreal, the 39-year-old Iginla was proud to be part of the Avalanche’s 3-1 triumph in Toronto one night later.
He went from fighting mad in his 1,500th career game — a game he didn’t see to the end because of penalties — to feeling relief at such a dramatic turnaround.
Iginla could not recall being part of such a stunning turn of events.
“Not that I can remember. But there’s not many 10-1s, period,” he said after Colorado finished its four-game trip 2-2. “It was a tough loss, a tough day — it was embarrassing. We were all embarrassed. Now, we’re all pretty tired, and it was nice that we didn’t have to wait to make it up. If we had to sit with that for a week, it would have been pretty miserable.”
The Avs returned to Denver early Monday morning and took the rest of the day off.
Given that Colorado is 11-15-1 and tied with Arizona for the fewest points in the league, Iginla has been asked if he would waive his notrade clause to be sent to a playoff contender. His answer to The Hockey News Sunday was the same as it has been earlier this season: It’s too early to discuss.
Iginla has become a third- or fourth-line winger for the Avs. While he could in all likelihood help a team in the playoffs with his physical presence, his shot on the power play and his leadership, it’s doubtful any team will want to take on his $5,333,333 cap hit before the end of the regular season.
“I’m a realist. I’m 39,” said Iginla, who will probably retire after his contract expires at the end of the season. “Hopefully we’re in (the playoff hunt) at that point. … My hope is we can climb back. (But) that’s not my focus. I’m trying to help the team right now. But as a player, keep working on my game, keep trying to get my game up. It’s a game of production. One-third of our season (is over). Get rid of that one and hopefully the next is going to be a lot better. That’s my mind-set.”