WILD TURN­AROUND

Iginla proud of per­se­ver­ance

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Mike Cham­bers Mike Cham­bers: mcham­bers@den­ver­post.com or @mikecham­bers

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.”

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