Joe Thornton may not have a whole lot of sympathy for the Calgary Flames plight these days, but the San Jose Sharks forward thinks highly of captain Jarome Iginla.
Which is why Thornton can empathize with Iginla’s offensive struggles.
Moreso, he can relate to the heat Iginla is feeling.
“It’s normal,” Thornton said.
“It’s normal to have pressure on your best players and it’s normal when the team’s not going well. The leaders have to step up. That’s just the nature of the beast.”
Iginla has gone through eight games without a goal and has just one tally in
Over that 13-game stretch, he’s managed only four assists and posted a minus-7 rating.
Iginla, a two-time 50-goal scorer, is stuck on 32 tallies this season, and 69 points.
Iginla has shown the strain of struggling in a situation he’s used to coming through for his team, and teammates are starting to rally around him, at least with off-ice support.
Thornton is no stranger to the scrutiny of being blamed for not coming through when needed most, but said star players are used to it.
“You go to any city, and that’s the way it is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a hunt for a playoff spot or you’re in the playoffs, your best players have to be your best players at crunch time,” he said.
Higgins, Glencross on ice
Although the Flames were given a day off, a handful did head to the Saddledome, most likely for medical treatment.
A couple of players did take to the ice for brief skates. Injured left wingers Curtis Glencross and Christopher Higgins strapped on the blades, but it wouldn’t appear either are about to return to action seeing as they were on the ice no more than 10 minutes while wearing track suits.
Higgins is nursing what’s believed an ankle injury that’s kept him out of action the last 11 games, while Glencross has missed nine games due to a knee injury. Centre Daymond Langkow is also out of action due to a neck injury.