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Iginla: Fighting is ‘definitely part of Bruins hockey’

Oct 7, 2013, 2:23 PM EDT

IginlaGudas Getty Images

In his first game with Boston, Jarome Iginla endeared himself to the TD Garden faithful with a spirited scrap against Tampa Bay’s Radko Gudas.

Following the tilt, Iginla said it was all part of embracing his team’s style.

“It’s definitely part of Bruins hockey, playing against them over the years and watching them,” Iginla told the Boston Globe. “It’s a very competitive, aggressive team.

“Trying to play alongside of that and contribute in those areas. Try to play physical, try to go [to] the net. Sometimes fights happen. It happened to be in the first game. Every guy takes a lot of pride in competing hard. Fights do happen. Guys are ready for that, too.”

While Iginla doesn’t fight very often — he has just nine over the last four seasons, according to HockeyFights.com — his scraps often have a flair for the dramatic.

After receiving a lukewarm introduction in his Bruins debut, he won over the B’s fans with the Gudas tilt.

Last year, he infamously fought Nathan Horton in his first game in Boston as a Penguin, just weeks after spurning a trade deadline deal to the Bruins.

Iginals’ most famous fight, though, might’ve come during the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, when he (as captain of the Flames) took on Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier:

More on that incident, from the Canadian Press:

There can be no disputing the positive results that have followed such an encounter this post-season, a trend that should prove alarming to Tampa Bay.

Iginla fought Vancouver defenceman Mattias Ohlund in game three of the opening series. Calgary went on to win three of the next four games to eliminate the Canucks.

In game two of the next series, Iginla squared off with big Detroit defenceman Derian Hatcher. Again, the Flames went on to take three of the next four games and knock off the Red Wings.

“That’s why he’s our leader,” said Calgary forward Chris Clark. “If he’s going to go out and fight, be rough, and he’s the best player in the league, you know people are going to follow him.”

Chris Simon, one of the NHL’s primary enforcers, was moved onto the top Flames top line Saturday with Conroy and Iginla, but he knows that Iginla likes to fight his own battles.

“That fight was huge, it really set the tone physically for us and we talked before the game that we had to bring a physical presence,” Simon said.

As for fighting in general, Iginla said that while he wouldn’t mind seeing less of it, he’s not prepared to ban it outright.

“Part of it is it’s been a part of our sport for so long,” he explained. “So, I think in my opinion I don’t mind seeing less of it, [but] like I said, I don’t think I’m there where I’d like to see it all gone.”

  1. 950003cups - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Staged fighting sucks, yes. Because most of the time its 2 goons who barely look pissed when they’re fighting.

    But those spontaneous fights? Those are awesome! You see the anger and passion in their face.

    I mean, if you’re not pissed, then why fight? The staged fights are almost always boring fights anyway.

    • DonkeyStick - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      I agree with you to about 95% BUT………. Claude Lemieux vs Darren McCarty was planned for awhile and was FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!

      • matt14gg - Oct 7, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        True, but even in that case there was a lot of background behind the fight and why it happened. And like you I loved it, because it was about Lemieux answering for past actions.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      A lot of staged Bob Probert vs Tie Domi fights were pretty epic too.

  2. muttbolts91 - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Vinny was not captain for 04 finals. Dave Andreychuk ring a bell?

    • DonkeyStick - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Thank God one of the 27 Tampa Bay fans worldwide were here to bring out the facts!!!!

      • Mike Halford - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Good shout and, sadly, I’ve made that error before. Has been updated to reflect.

      • mathieug79 - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        HA HA you should worry about your Flyers Donkey. I heard they still have Holmgren as a GM. What a joke!

      • desertfan - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        28 I hear!!

    • zipmeister - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Who said he was the captain? Keep rereading and still don’t see him mentioned as captain.

      “Iginals’ most famous fight, though, might’ve come during the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, when he (as captain of the Flames) took on Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier:”

      DonkeyStick if you are so worried about facts show me there is only 27 of us Tampa Bay fans. You sir are a troll.

  3. ibieiniid - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    this article reminded me that Chris Simon once made it to the top line of a Stanley Cup finals team. and that’s real.

    • ntvd7 - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Scored 29 goals one year as well….

      • ibieiniid - Oct 7, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        YES. actually, I was 12ish and my parents had half-season tix to the Caps that year for us. I loved that Caps team. Simon, Bondra, Gonchar, Johansson, Konawalchuk, Oates….. of course Olie. not sure every one of them was on the team in that particular year, but that was a great era.

  4. jpelle82 - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    fighting is part of every team, nothing unique to boston. seems like a bit of needless pandering to the fanbase with these comments. a guy who has 500 goals and has fought 65 times in his career is unique though.

    • amityvillefun - Oct 8, 2013 at 1:09 AM

      My brother was at the game on opening night and said he was somewhat surprised to hear Iginla booed when introduced. Boston fans need to get over him selecting Pittsburgh over the Bruins during the trade. Facts are facts…the Bruins at that point were looking like they were on the nadir and the Penguins were really rolling at the time.

      Iginla dropped the gloves with Horton when he came to Boston and it should be left at that. He could have easily gone to another team this year, but came here instead. I think it was the mature and smart thing to do. He had to eat enough humble pie when the Bruins rolled over Pittsburgh in the playoffs. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” right?

      It’s done. He’s a Bruin now and I’m happy about it. He’s trying to make amends and he really doesn’t have to. Boston fans who boo him need to stop acting like fools and be thankful he is playing for the team. He’s a damn good player who can do everything, and he does have a few more seasons left for sure.

  5. muttbolts91 - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    @ donkey stick, nice attempt at comedy but this is a hockey article not a tampa bay bucs article. And the bolts have no problem selling out the forum, no matter how crappy our team is.

    • DonkeyStick - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      hahahahaha, now that’s funny!

  6. muttbolts91 - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    @ desertfan. Very cleaver I see what you did there , stole someone else’s joke and added 1 to it. Get a life trolls

  7. matt14gg - Oct 7, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    If the NHL bans fighting it is going to become a more dangerous sport. People who don’t get that don’t understand how the game is played. If players don’t have to answer for their actions it’s going to become a dirty and violent game. If you want the best players in the game to play like superstars, without having to worry about the next cheap shot, keep fighting in the game.

    Staged fighting is another story, but the fact is that type of fighting has greatly diminished and will eventually be gone completely.

    • provguard - Oct 8, 2013 at 2:59 AM

      What are penalty boxes for?????

  8. provguard - Oct 8, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    When you are 60 years old and drooling all over your grandkids, you might think about all those fists up the side of your head… Go cage fight if you need to brawl. Hockey is too beautiful sport for idiots to be banging each other with concussions…

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