Jarome Iginla is optimistic about Flames' future

jaromeiginla3.jpgA lot has been made of the moves the Calgary Flames made to improve themselves and a lot of what’s been said is not exactly positive. While Flames GM Darryl Sutter is more than pleased with re-obtaining forwards Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen, people were curious as to what Flames captain and soon-to-be linemate Jarome Iginla thinks of everything.

As it turns out, Iginla is all about the Calgary Flames failed linemate reunion tour as the Globe and Mail’s Donna Spencer finds out from the captain.

“I think we definitely are a better team today than when we finished the season,” Iginla said Wednesday during a break at his annual hockey school in Calgary.

“Both of these guys, their top end is not 50 or 60 points. If they are rolling and have years they’re capable of, the sky is the limit. Could be 90, could be 100.”

“We need a bounce-back year,” Iginla said. “Personally, I need to be better. We’re getting two guys that are very hungry. A lot of us have that in common.”

There’s no doubt that both Jokinen and Tanguay have a lot  to prove as both players had awful seasons last year and for Iginla, missing the playoffs is a huge failure on its own, even if he was one of a few consistent sources of production on the team. You can’t fault Jarome Iginla for being as positive as possible about the upcoming season, but you have to wonder if there’s a nagging doubt in his mind as to what the Flames are doing to help provide him with the support he’s been wanting for years and only giving him guys that didn’t work out before to try and do it.

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    Yeo was ‘disappointed’ to see Hoppy the rabbit holding a ‘YEO MUST GO’ sign

    Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo argues a call in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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    Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”

    Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.

    Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.

    Here’s what Konopka tweeted:

    And what did Yeo think about that?

    “I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”

    Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”

    Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.

    Video: Anisimov, Niskanen, McDavid star in Goals of the Week

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    Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.

    You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.

    Oilers demote Nilsson, recall AHL standout Brossoit

    Edmonton Oilers goalie Anders Nilsson, of Sweden, makes pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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    Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.

    On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.

    Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.

    This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.

    As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.

    In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.

    Should the Bruins be sellers at the deadline?

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    Not surprisingly, last night’s 9-2 loss to Milan Lucic and the Kings garnered no shortage of opinions on the state of the Boston Bruins.

    For example, here’s CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty:

    …the Bruins no longer have the kind of roster that can hold up in a ground-and-pound battle against the best of the West. Their 5-9-3 record against the Western Conference this season is clearly indicative of that. Julien pointed that out on Tuesday after watching his team get shellacked by the Kings and the point is valid: it’s probably time for the Bruins organization, the fans, the media and those around the league to wrap their minds around the concept that this season’s Bruins team can’t be held to the standard of past B’s teams.

    They’re younger and quicker in some spots, but they’re also nowhere near as good.

    And here’s ESPN’s Scott Burnside:

    Yes, Boston owns a wild card spot as of Wednesday morning, but is anyone confident this is a team that can stay there, or make a dent if they get in?

    WEEI’s DJ Bean had some thoughts:

    Ultimately, the Bruins won’t need to worry about their record against good Western Conference teams because they sure as heck won’t be meeting them in the playoffs this season. Still, games like Tuesday against the Kings and the pre-break finale against the Ducks provide a nice reminder that despite hanging around in the East, the Bruins’ days of dominant play are well behind them. Given that they haven’t developed many young players and their core is only aging, that next wave of greatness could be pretty far away. 

    And so too did NESN’s Jack Edwards, who opined during last night’s broadcast, “There has been a talent drain in Boston.”

    Edwards was referring (again) to the once-vaunted Bruins defense that has struggled to replace Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton. Further complicating matters, at 38, Zdeno Chara is the third-oldest defenseman in the league.

    Now, granted, it was only one game. Sometimes, a team just lays an egg. The Bruins are still in a good spot to make the playoffs.

    That being said, even if they hadn’t lost so badly last night, the pressing question for the B’s would still be what GM Don Sweeney plans to do ahead of the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

    Take winger Loui Eriksson, a 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent who’s enjoying a fine season with 16 goals and 24 assists. He could net the Bruins a nice return.

    True, losing Eriksson for picks and/or prospects would make the Bruins weaker in the short term. But with that defense, the reality is that the short term may not be salvageable anyway.

    Related: Kevan Miller is not the problem for Bruins, but he does illustrate the problem