SUN Hockey Pool

Iginla points the way

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

PHOENIX -- Jarome Iginla is already among the top Calgary Flames in history.

This season, the captain has the opportunity to put him in a club with the team's true offensive elite.

With 35 goals and 70 points already this season, Iginla has a shot of reaching the 50/100 club.

Only Theo Fleury, Joe Mullen and Hakan Loob have attained at least 50 goals and 100 points in the same season since the franchise relocated to Calgary.

Guy Chouinard did it once for the Atlanta Flames.

Those are milestone numbers that would mean a lot to Iginla.

"We're all driven and have different roles, and part of my job is to be a goal scorer and point producer, so you want to be as good as you can be at your job and your role," Iginla said. "I want to be one of the top players, and that's part of it. It's not a negative to have points, even if you're not on a winning team. There are lots of players who score a ton of goals and a ton of points and contribute to winning on great teams, and that's what I want to do.

"I want to be a producer and want to score as many goals as possible and points, and on a winning team."

Of late, though, his production has slid. So have the team's fortunes.

The struggling Flames have dropped two straight games heading into tonight's clash with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Iginla, who needs six goals to pass Fleury as the team's all-time leader, has also been below his standards.

He's slightly fallen off the 50/100 pace, with only three goals and seven assists in the last 16 games. Granted, all those tallies have come since suffering a 10-game goal-scoring drought -- and he's cobbled together five points in six games -- but he's looking for answers right now both for himself and the team.

Especially the team.

"We've got to find a ways to win games now and stop the way it's been going for us, and get ourselves on the roll like we did earlier in the year," he said.

Which means plenty of things.

The Flames, with one win and a pair of losses during their five-game game trip through the Pacific Division, have been plagued by poor defence and uneven performances. Basically, they haven't been up to snuff.

"It's pretty similar to the beginning of the year when we were giving up a lot of scoring chances and therefore a lot of goals," Iginla said. "We found a way to turn and had a great two months in a row, but since the all-star break our play has slipped again.

"It's more than one period right now. We look at ourselves and we know our play hasn't been as consistent or strong since the all-star break, and we're going to work on getting this turned around like we did earlier in the year.

"But I don't think it's any one thing," he continued. "We're a team that has to compete, work really hard, be physical. Unfortunately, sometimes it slips a little bit and we've been out-competed the last couple of games.

"We lose some key battles and all of a sudden they have some momentum, they have a goal, they have some powerplays. When you're rolling as a group, you find ways to turn those tight ones our way because those little battles add up."

Just like his offence can, especially when Iginla gets on a roll.

He'd be hard pressed to get back in the Rocket Richard Trophy race, being 13 goals back of the Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin. But Iginla is capable of a spree that could close the eight-point gap between him and Ovechkin in the points race.


Videos

Photos