Flame shootin' sparks

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames captain and face of the franchise, won't accept a repeat of his...

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames captain and face of the franchise, won't accept a repeat of his 2005-06 campaign, especially with how things went for him personally. (Calgary Sun/Jim Wells)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

Last year's disappointments now history, Jarome Iginla is looking for a bit of redemption.

Not only for the Calgary Flames but also for the man in the mirror.

Readying for the Flames' season-opener tomorrow in Edmonton, the captain and face of the franchise won't accept a repeat of his 2005-06 campaign, especially with how things went for him personally.

Between his physical adaptation for the new NHL -- Iginla arrived for training camp 12 lb. lighter than a year ago -- and the addition of Alex Tanguay to ride shotgun on his line, Iginla is invigorated for the coming year.

He fired up with higher self-expectations and looking to put last season's 35-goal, 67-point performance behind him.

"Absolutely I want to improve on it. I'm thankful for scoring 35 but with the new rules and guys scoring more goals -- and the most important thing, it's that we weren't as high a scoring team as we wanted," Iginla explained.

"I'd like to improve upon that, the consistency part.

"I had a really tough middle there last year.

"I think the first 20 games weren't bad and the last 20 weren't bad as far as statistics and chipping in. But I had a tough middle 40."

When you break down his career seasons, Iginla's 2005-06 was pretty much represented his career average.

In nine seasons, he's amassed 285 goals, 285 assists and 570 points, an average of 31.7 goals and 31.7 assists per season.

However, Iginla should be beyond average at this stage of his career.

Forget Tanguay's arrival or the emergence of d-man Dion Phaneuf or the stellar goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff -- Iginla is still the Flames' key player.

He's counted on for the goal, the hit, the play when his team needs it most.

That's the price you pay for a 'C' on your sweater and a salary that has six zeros preceded by a seven.

Judging by his pre-season performance and preparation, he's ready, head coach Jim Playfair declares.

"When you look at his commitment to his conditioning adjustments and the fact he recognizes Alex Tanguay to be an exciting player to play with, Jarome is, to me, as prepared as he's ever been to get this up and running,"


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