SUN Hockey Pool

Iginla recalls early season funk

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:24 PM ET

During Monday’s chit-chat with the media, Jarome Iginla referred to his early-season struggles several times.

As a “funk.”

As a “cold streak.”

As “one of the tougher stretches” of his career.

Whatever you want to call it, the Calgary Flames captain is hoping to avoid the same story next fall.

After finishing the 2009-10 campaign in a scoring swoon, Iginla was slow out of the blocks at the start of this season, registering just two tallies in his first 15 regular-season outings.

“I think it did carry (from) last year. I had a real tough finish and then you come in at the start of the season and you want to do really well, and as soon as the season starts, you start over-pushing or whatever it was,” Iginla said.

“This year, to be able to finish feeling pretty good and on a bit of a hot-streak personally ...

“Summers go quick, and it’ll feel like we’re opening training camp before you know — that’s the way it goes — so this time, I’ll work on having a long memory and trying to remember the way it felt at the end of the year.”

Despite his sluggish start, the 33-year-old Iginla still had a season to remember, becoming just the 10th player in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in 10 consecutive seasons and then joining the prestigious 1,000-point club.

The future Hall-of-Famer finished the season with 43 snipes, trailing only Rocket Richard Trophy winner Corey Perry (50) of the Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos (45).

“Unfortunately, it was a difficult start and we didn’t win a lot of games there and, personally, I wasn’t nearly good enough,” Iginla said.

“But after that, I was able to kind of get in more of a groove and have one of the — out of my career — more consistent stretches from then on. I think that’s something to build on going into next season.

“Also, you get to a certain age where everyone is saying, ‘It’s done. It’s going down,’ and it starts to creep into your head and you start wondering. So

I guess, on the other side, that does feel good. I feel as good as ever and was able to improve in some areas and I’m going to go work hard this summer.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/WesGilbertson


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