Iginla Wakes Up
Wake up, Jarome
If it took retired defenseman Rhett Warrener’s big mouth to wake up Calgary’s Jarome Iginla, then good for Warrener.
Wednesday night in an impressive 7-4 triumph at Scotiabank Saddledome, Iginla fought with Dallas youngster Antoine Roussel (a rare Frenchman who doesn’t mind fighting — sorry, I had to roll that one out). Later, he got a roughin minor giving the business to Trevor Daley. Earlier, Derek Roy yapped with Iginla after a save by Richard Bachman.
Iginla finished with two assists and three shots but his general emotional level was at a high not seen in a while, at least according to critics (who are right).
But it was radio guy and former NHLer Rhett Warrener’s suggestion on Sportsnet FAN960 radio that his former teammate Iginla was not showing the competitive fire expected of the Flames captain. That was evidently all it took for Iggy to set his emotions loose. Not coincidentally, his Flames topped the hot Stars by four goals.
Iginla didn’t speak after the game, but a telling and self-contradictory set of remarks by teammates Mike Cammalleri and Alex Tanquay said it all.
His pals, however, had plenty to say.
“Jarome responded to being a leader and showing his true colours and character as the captain of this hockey team,” said Cammalleri. “There was a point in the game where there was a little (second-period) lull and they were taking the pace a bit…I don’t think that had anything to do with what anyone was saying about him. It had to do with him wanting to win the hockey game and doing what it took.”
Alex Tanguay saw things differently, and accurately.
“The comments from you guys, for sure, and what he’s been hearing from the outside,” said Tanguay of the impact Iginla’s felt in recent weeks. “He’s a guy with a lot of pride. With the amount of shots and with the way he’s played since the start of the year, I’m not worried about Jarome. He’s getting his chances, he’s working extremely hard. He’s got too much talent. If he keeps working the same way he did (Wednesday), look out. He’s going to be the Jarome we know. When you come from the outside and look at the stats, well, obviously, he hasn’t scored like perhaps he can — or will — but I’m not worried about him one bit.”
Austria In, Germany Out
Color Thomas Vanek, Andreas Nodl and Michael Grabner are rejoicing as Austria qualified for the Olympics for the first time since 2002 (finished 12th in Salt Lake City). Austria’s success came at Germany’s cost, as the Germans were excluded from the Olympic hockey competition for the first time since 1948. Germany was also out in 1920 and 1924: All German exclusions were precipitated by the two world wars.
Vanek told the Buffalo News that his lockout excursion, playing in Graz of the Austrian League for 11 games, reenergized his game. Indeed: Vanek is tops amongst NHL scorers with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 13 games. His 51 shots on net is good for seventh overall.
Karlsson: Tendons tough
Erik Karlsson, top shooter in the NHL with 63 shots on net to go along with his four goals in 14 games, will be likely lost for the remainder of the season and likely, the playoffs, too, with a severed Achilles’ tendon after Matt Cooke’s skate inadvertently sliced the back of Karlsson’s left leg. If you have ever suffered a tendon injury, they’re brutal and you end up wishing you’d broken bones instead. 8-12 weeks in a cast, HT predicts, and another 8-12 weeks of physical therapy likely.