Robinson on Flames: Can Iginla step up?

The Flames had no choice but to move Jarome Iginla at this point.
February 23, 2013, 1:53 PM

Small concerns continue to add up for the Calgary Flames, who through 15 games have managed a mere five wins for a dismal 5-7-3 record, last place in the Northwest Division.

The injury riddled roster is also riding a two-game losing streak, prior to Saturday’s start of a back-to-back weekend at the Saddledome against the Minnesota Wild and Phoenix Coyotes.

With the second worst home record in the NHL at 2-5-2 mark in 2013, Calgary’s struggles have been magnified, and to make matters worse, the Flames have allowed an average of 3.7 goals per game at the Dome.

While issues like grit, toughness, and consistency have come into question over the last few days, Captain Jarome Iginla remains in the spotlight, thanks to a slow start to the shortened season that’s yet to heat up.

Special assistant to the Flames, Craig Conroy, tells Sportsnet 960 The Fan, everyone is talking about it.

“As usual, he puts so much pressure on himself. I mean, he’s the captain, he wants to do, he knows if he’s scoring we’re probably winning more games,” Conroy said. “I think for me, I just want to see him go out there and relax.”

Iginla scored his first and only goal of the season so far in Detroit on Feb. 5 and even though his goal production has been less than ideal, he ranks 41st in the league with nine assists to date.

Conroy says, like most players, he’s tight, but continues to try to improve.

“He’s been going out early before practice, shooting pucks, trying to get more comfortable,” Conroy said. “But you know we’d rather have it start tonight than later but he’s getting the chances, he’s getting the opportunities, now it’s just about the puck going in the net for him.”

Iginla spoke to the media Friday morning after a day of rest about the line changes coach Bob Hartley continues to implement in hopes to ignite an offensive surge from his players.

“We’re not happy with where we’re at as a team and we need to get winning, find that spark, so it part of it,” Iginla said. “Unfortunately, when you see that it’s usually when you’re not on a winning streak.”

The captain also mentioned he’s ready to start scoring.

“I feel like I’m ready to produce a little more for the team. I know it hasn’t been nearly good enough and as a team we need to win games,” Iginla added. “We have an opportunity here on a back to back at home. We need to get better here at home, we need to win and we need to win now.”

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