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Iginla feels energized going into playoffs

Apr 30, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla, 35, can’t remember a previous time in his NHL career when he’s been in a situation like this. His newly adopted Pittsburgh Penguins enter the playoffs with a team that, at least on paper, is overwhelming.

“In the NHL, we [the Flames] never got there,” Iginla told the Penguins’ website. “Even when we went to the Cup Final [in 2004] it was all underdog stuff, so I haven’t been in this situation in the NHL.”

And it sounds like Iginla loves his new situation.

“I’m feeling as good as I’ve felt now as far as energy than I have in a while,” Iginla said. “I don’t mean years or anything, but this year has been a tough year. It was a contract year, we had the lockout, and I knew we had to get off to a good start or I was maybe moving. There were unknowns, uncertainties. I love playing hockey, still love it as much as I ever have, but it was stressful leading up to the trade.

“This is exciting, this new experience. I don’t feel that pressure or have that pressure of being a leader at all.”

It’s true that the Penguins don’t depend on him to nearly the same extent that the Flames did. Iginla has five goals and 11 points in 12 games this month, but that’s only good enough to put him in a tie for third place on the Penguins’ April leaderboard. That’s in a month where Evgeni Malkin and James Neal missed significant time while Sidney Crosby didn’t play at all.

Pittsburgh has so many talented forwards that Iginla doesn’t necessarily need to be a superstar for the Penguins to succeed in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean he won’t be though. After all, this is the best shot he’s had in a long time to finally win the Stanley Cup.

  1. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Excited to see where he finds himself in terms of line combinations. Provided Sid is back, I’d love to see him on the Duper-Crosby-Iginla line, or rolling with Malkin if he’s not back.

    So excited for this, but high expectations too.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      It took me all of one shift watching Kunitz, Neal, and Malkin reunited last game to be wishing for Iginla on Crosby’s line.

      • crosberries - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        I agree that it should be Crosby iginla duper. There’s only one puck on the ice for Malkin Neal iginla with three snipers spread out the wealth and you know Crosby loves to set up people for easy goals. I am so excited for the playoffs to start. Hopefully it’s and incredible and long ride. Lets go boys!!!!

    • ewoods6 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      No way Kunitz gets bumped from that line when Sid comes back

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        I think it makes the most sense of any of the combinations. Placing Iginla and Neal with Malkin asks one of them to be grinders along the boards and in front of the net which in effect wastes some of their talent. When you split them up the way I mentioned each line has a sharp-shooting winger, a center who can score AND make plays, and a grinder who can do the dirty work in the right areas.

        Kunitz-Malkin-Neal was the mos prolific line in the NHL with that formula and this way we effectively have a carbon copy of that line.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        Well, as it turns out, Malkin supposedly mentioned to the press today that Kunitz would run with Sid if he’s back, although that could be just Malkin speculating.

        I still stand by my thoughts, but I acknowledge that HCDB and I may not be on the same page.

  2. jpelle82 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    i think 4 of his 5 goals were on the pp but i could be wrong there, i would like to see more from him 5 on 5. if crosby is out there, he will have plenty of opportunities to shoot the puck but i would like to see him driving the net and setting up shop on the post. crosby set up dupuis and kunitz from behind the net this year for about half of their goals, iginla should feast if crosby is in the lineup.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      As long as the Penguins win, I’m fine with any type of goal Iginla scores. His job on any line will be to forecheck, maintain possession along the boards, and create space for himself and his linemates.

  3. taylorgang24 - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    The lines are 9-87-12…14-71-18. And probably Cooke, sutter, and morrow on the 3rd with jokinen on the 4th but could see that being different. Probably the best offense the league has seen in a long long time.

    • bgrillz - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      I have 9-87-12. Line two I have 14-71-18. Line 3 I have 10-16-36 and line 4 I have 15-27-24

    • jpelle82 - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      i dont like the idea of 12 playing with 87 for the first time in the playoffs. would rather have 14 and 9 out there with him again. at least iginla has had some experience playing with malkin. he has no idea what he’s in for with crosby, i dont think he will be ready for the passes. too many times i’ve seen 12 miss on feeds, he should have 10 goals with the pens instead of 5 if you look at how many passes have eluded him either because stick wasnt on the ice or it went into his feet on two on ones, almost like he is not ready or in position for the pass.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        It’s not their first time playing together, though. They won the Olympic gold medal together….so that’ll give him some idea of what he’s in for. As for the other stuff, I think you can say that about anyone in the NHL – you might be one of the only people in Pittsburgh to accuse Iginla of not being ready or sloppy play. But, certainly entitled.

        Malkin’s not easy to be ready times it doesn’t even look like HE knows what he’s about to do. Of the two, Malkin is by FAR the tougher center to play with – extremely talented, but rarely in position, he’s a free-lance artist and plays a very loose game. Neal and Kunitz know him well, and know when to be ready for his pass. Actually Neal just crosses the line, finds a spot, and gets his stick up and keeps it there until Malkin finds him.

        Either way, it’s a good problem to have.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        they played in the olympics together but there’s also a whole lot more room to work and less physical play in the olympics, i wouldnt even count it. i dont have an issue with iginla, he is doing and saying all the right things. i just dont see how you could split up the best line in hockey and insert a guy who has been kinda riding his namesake so far with less than a ppg since arriving on the most potent offense in the league. i expected him to finish more i guess. but hey, maybe bylsma is gonna use this series against the islanders as an experiment juggling lines and a practice series for real challenges in later rounds…

    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Watch out for Jokinen to play wing on the third line with Sutter. Great to have those two on a hybrid showtdown/offensive line with two guys who can win face offs.

  4. modellforprez - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    We are glad to have you Jarome. in 2008 shero landed Duper and Mary Hosebag 2009 guerin and adams this year its morrow and iggy. we can do it. Just go get 16 before anyone else.

  5. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    After having seen Iginla play for the Pens now I must say that I have a lot of respect for him. He presents himself very well when interviewed and is very respected by the players. After getting Morrow I was skeptical of getting Iginla because I didn’t see where he would fit but now I do. The trade for Jokinen is a steal. Sure he’s had a larger role with Sid out but even still he’s been a rejuvenated player with the Pens. It’s still hard to believe that he passed through wavers and 29 other teams passed him up. Oh well hopefully Iginla stays but no one knows for sure. …And as an early 20th Birthday gift from my parents I get a Jarome Iginla jersey. Can’t complain either way. Lets Go Pens

  6. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Quote of the day –

    “The first morning he got here, I looked across the room and it was like, ‘Holy hell, that’s Jarome Iginla,’ ” Niskanen, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 26-year old defenseman, told

    GO PENS!

  7. nananatman - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    It’s not his best chance until game 7 of the final. Just ask the Detroit Redwings about presidents trophies and round 1 exits.

    • hazlydose - Apr 30, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      The Detroit Redwings were the last team to win the Presidents Trophy and Lord Stanley’s in the same year. Pittsburgh didn’t even win the Presidents Trophy, Chicago did.

  8. orangandblack - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    This man deserves a cup….from a diehard flyers fan.

    • haterzinc - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Proof that class do exist in philly

  9. jonkchar - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    that is classy, orangeandblack

  10. csilojohnson - Apr 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Can’t see Juicy on a line with Sutter. Wouldn’t make sense to have your two best faceoff guys on the same line. Plus they won’t be scratching Cooke. Too important on the PK. Same could be said about Adams.
    Will probably be Sutter and Juicy 3rd and 4th line centers. Cooke and Morrow, Glass and Adams on wing.
    Although Disco probably won’t sit TK. Who knows…. Am I missing someone? Lol Hard to go wrong. Expect Adams, Glass, and Cooke somewhere given the PK is the Pens.biggest weakness. Can’t keep those guys out at any point in my eyes.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      i agree, i think thats why glass will be in and tk will be out, bylsma has sat 48 twice this year already, he isnt doing enough out there to justify keeping him in the lineup for the playoffs- he doesnt kill penalties, doesnt take faceoffs, and he isnt on either pp unit. odd man out should be tk

  11. csilojohnson - Apr 30, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    Should be TK…. I’m sure we’ve all thought that before…. Both scratches were at the end of season correct? I saw that as Bylsma getting Jeffery and Vitale some ice time before playoffs.
    Maby I’m just being paranoid.

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