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Jarome Iginla's disturbing, untimely slump

Apr 5, 2010, 10:00 PM EDT

iggysmiles.jpgSome people bristle when a team’s best player gets thrown under the bus when his team is struggling, especially since hockey is a team sport with more than its fair share of lucky (and unlucky) bounces. My viewpoint, though, is that it’s reasonable to put a little more weight on a big dog’s shoulders. After all, the guy signed the big contract, may have put a ‘C’ or an ‘A’ on his sweater and smiled for all the magazine covers.

Craig Conroy wishes that people would just leave Jarome Iginla alone as the Flames’ playoff hopes fade off into the distance. Here’s what Conroy had to say to the Vancouver Sun.

“You got to give the guy a break. He’s got enough on his plate. Maybe we just need to back off. Everyone always expects Jarome to be the saviour. But, you know, it’s a team – a team game. I’m sick of everyone on him all the time. He’s doing his best out there.”

Look, Iginla seems like a fantastic human being and has a better-than-excellent chance to make the Hockey Hall of Fame. He seemingly willed that Calgary Flames team – along with Miikka Kiprusoff – into an exciting seven game Stanley Cup Finals series with Tampa Bay years ago. Still, there’s simply no way to sugarcoat his dismal performance when the Flames have needed him the most this season.

After the jump, a rundown of Iginla’s slump and tough questions the Flames need to answer.


(Click to enlarge)
His season totals aren’t fantastic (69 points in 79 games), but his tepid results during this desperate run justify some harsh criticism. He’s only scored 1 goal and 4 assists in his last 13 games. I’m not a huge fan of plus/minus, but going a -7 in that span is awful. He’s been even worse most recently, though, with only 1 assist in the Flames’ last six games. Again, I’m one of the many people who developed a serious man crush on Iginla and one rough run doesn’t mean he’s over the hill. Still, he isn’t getting any younger and considering the fact that I’ve called for the firing of the Sutter brothers it stands to mention that Calgary’s great power forward should also be given some of the blame.

This brings me to two tough questions. Should Iginla shoulder the blame for the Flames missing the playoffs? And should the Calgary Flames consider the idea of trading Iginla and starting over?

  1. schtimpy27 - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    I was being contemplative in the shower the other day. Long train of thought how I got there, but I ended up thinking back to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. I remembered looking at the two team captains then and thinking, wow, this is the future of the NHL and it looks fabulous. Look at those two now. =\
    I’m not quite ready to stick a fork in Iginla and Lecavalier yet. They both have too much talent and are both, by a lot of accounts, really good people, and that is hard to give up. But dang skippy… 2004 seems so long ago.

  2. James O'Brien - Apr 5, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Agreed, schtimpy. Lecavalier has the slight advantage because he’s quite a bit younger than Iginla but I think they’re both stuck on the second level. At best, even.

  3. BenchedWhale - Apr 5, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    I agree as well. Lecavalier doesn’t have the same compete level as I’ve seen in the past, although still a great player, he’s being eclipsed by Stamkos’ dominance and sniping ability with the puck.

  4. schtimpy27 - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    All I know is that Lecavalier is really lucky Stamkos had a rough rookie year. If both played last year like they’ve been playing his year, Vinny would easily have been traded before that NTC kicked in, as Stamkos looks every bit like the next franchise player.
    (And I like Vinny!)

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