BOSTON (CBS) – The Atlantic Division/Eastern Conference-leading Bruins (47-17-5) are poised for another Stanley Cup run, which likely wouldn’t be possible without the contributions from veteran Jarome Iginla.
We all know the path it took for Iginla to get here – it certainly wasn’t a linear one.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli thought he had a deal last season with Calgary to bring in Iginla through a trade, only for the future Hall of Famer to force his way to Pittsburgh to play alongside Sidney Crosby.
What a mistake that turned out to be.
The Bruins did not ultimately win the Stanley Cup, but they did sweep Iginla’s Penguins in four games, including a scoring margin of 12-2 and two shutouts in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Iginla realized his mistake over the summer and contacted Chiarelli about the possibility of playing in Boston.
What a great decision that turned out to be – for both parties.
Iginla leads the team in goals (26), game winning goals (7) and is second on the team in points (56). His production is something tangible you can point to, but perhaps his biggest contribution has been leadership and consistency.
“Where would this team be without Iginla right now? I’m sure they would still be a good team, but would they be on a 10-game win streak right now and would they be in great position heading down the stretch? I think Jarome Iginla is a huge, huge part of that. I just think back to: What if he didn’t call in the offseason? What if he wasn’t a part of this team?” said Marc Bertrand to kick off the discussion.
We know the Bruins have a good organizational philosophy, but that philosophy has nothing to do with why Iginla decided to pick up the phone over the summer.
Iginla is a big reason why this team is leading the conference and among the NHL elite, especially when you consider the way his linemates have played around him.
“Not only is he showing you what he can do, but on top of that look at the way the rest of his line has played. Look at the way David Krejci has played. Look at the way Milan Lucic has played this year. He has brought a level of consistency that I don’t know if we’ve ever seen with those two guys at the same time. Sometimes Krejci has those dropoffs in the middle of the season and he hasn’t this year, and it’s gonna pay off for Lucic even more playing next to Iginla in a postseason setting.”
The only thing missing from the future Hall of Famer’s resume is a Stanley Cup, which is a driving force behind his stellar play this season.
Whether or not the Bruins win, lose or fail to even make the Stanley Cup Finals, Marc Bertrand wants Iginla to finish his career in Boston.
“Iginla has never won it. He wants to win. Not only does he give it to you on the ice, but he’s kind of the one kicking you from behind giving that motivation. He brings that edge, plus he brings it on the ice. He is a huge part of that team’s success. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s on a tear right now and the team has won 10 straight,” Beetle concluded.
Listen below for the full discussion, including Mazz’s hesitant take that we should all “wait and see” what he can do come playoff time: