Iginla: Bruins will be fine despite slow start


Jarome Iginla might not be a member of the Boston Bruins any more, but he still thinks highly of them.

Boston suffered a literal last-second loss to Iginla’s Colorado Avalanche Monday afternoon, which lowered the Bruins to 1-3-0 this season. Although the defeat has to be taken with a grain of salt given how close the game was, there were already some concerns about Boston’s slow start before Monday’s contest even started.

Iginla doesn’t think Bruins fans need to worry though.

“They’ve all been close games,” Iginla said, per CSN New England. “Getting [David] Krejci was a big boost for them, and I know they’ve got some guys out. I have no doubts that [the Bruins] will be just fine over there.”

Three of the Bruins’ first four games have been decided by just a goal, although Boston did suffer a 4-0 loss to Washington on Saturday.

Iginla has gotten off to a slow start himself, but the Bruins likely wish he was still with them, especially after Boston recorded just four goals in its first four games.

The Bruins were up against the ceiling though, which made it difficult for them to compete for Iginla’s services.

Haggerty: Bruins’ slow start a legitimate concern


With just one win in their first three games — and after losing 4-0 at home to the Capitals on Saturday — CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty thinks it’s “okay to question what the heck is going on” with the Boston Bruins.

Writes Haggerty:

Players, coaches and executives can say all the right things after a deal like the Johnny Boychuk salary dump, but the message that’s reverberating from the upper levels down to the locker room is that the team isn’t “all in” to win this season. That can have a toxic effect in the clubhouse, and signs of that toxicity have shown up in the first three games. Witness how many B’s players seem to have a look of doom on their faces when they get down by a couple of goals, and there have been more shoulders slumped in the last two losses to Detroit and Washington than at any time in the last five years.

The Bruins are hosting Colorado (speaking of slow starts) this afternoon at TD Garden, and it sounds like they’ll have David Krejci back in the lineup. Which is to say, there’s a very good chance that Boston comes out with the win.

But even with a victory over the Avs, the concerns in Boston won’t be alleviated. Boychuk will still be on the Islanders, and Jarome Iginla will still be playing for Colorado.

Speaking of Iginla, in Haggerty’s opinion, Loui Eriksson — the guy the B’s were hoping could step into the top six and replace the departed 30-goal-scorer — is “a third-line winger in Boston, and he’s never going to be the offensive force the Bruins hoped he’d be when they acquired him as part of the package for Tyler Seguin.”

Related: Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition

Roy shuffles Avs’ lines after blowout loss


After watching his Colorado Avalanche limp through Thursday’s 5-0 loss against the Minnesota Wild, head coach Patrick Roy isn’t just going to maintain the status quo in the hopes that everything will work out in their rematch on Saturday.

Roy has decided to scratch defenseman Nate Guenin, who was minus-one in 14:49 minutes of ice time, in favor of Ryan Wilson. He’s also reversed some of the changes he made in response to the Avalanche’s offensive struggles in the preseason, per the Denver Post.

Specifically, Ryan O’Reilly will shift back to the left wing while Nathan MacKinnon will serve as a center. Jarome Iginla and Matt Duchene will join O’Reilly on the top line and MacKinnon will skate with Alex Tanguay and Gabe Landeskog.

Roy classified thinks these changes will serve as a “wake-up call” as he doesn’t believe the lines’ struggles were chemistry related.

The Avalanche won the Central Division last season, but they still have a lot to prove given how vulnerable they looked from an advanced statistics perspective in 2013-14.


Can we talk about how bad the Avs were last night?

NHL on NBCSN: Avs seek vengeance against the Wild


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Minnesota Wild host the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center at 9 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

With about eight minutes remaining in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche, the Minnesota Wild looked like they were in trouble.

The Avalanche held a 4-3 lead thanks to an Erik Johnson goal 11:16 into the third period, and shortly after that, Darcy Kuemper left with an injury, prompting struggling goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to come in cold.

Of course, things unraveled for Colorado instead, as Jared Spurgeon tied that game up with less than three minutes remaining and then Nino Niederreiter capped an impressive night with the series-clincher in overtime, sending Minnesota to the second round and ending the Avs’ season in the process.

It’s the sort of defeat that sticks with you.

“It was a nightmare for all of us, especially for me,” Semyon Varlamov told NHL.com in July.

Much like the San Jose Sharks against the Los Angeles Kings last night, beating Minnesota in their 2014-15 season-opener wouldn’t totally make up for that playoff letdown, yet it’s a start for the Avalanche. It won’t be easy, especially on the road, however.

Tonight’s contest also provides an opportunity to see how far the two teams have come after some significant offseason moves. The Avalanche parted ways with Paul Stastny and P.A. Parenteau while adding veterans Jarome Iginla, Brad Stuart and Daniel Briere. The Wild added dangerous sniper Thomas Vanek and saw Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom emerge from all their goalie drama. Each franchise made big moves, yet predictions are all over the board for Colorado and Minnesota.

Of course, both teams have plenty of young talent to get excited about, with Nathan MacKinnon drawing all kinds of hype this summer:

While one night won’t make or break Patrick Roy’s system, the debate between his traditional stance and the “fancy stats” crowd adds yet another intriguing storyline to the mix.

Could we see more seeds planted for a growing Central Division rivalry? Will MacKinnon and Matt Duchene wow us some more in 2014-15? Is this the year in which the Wild take all that marquee talent and make a big run?

The Avalanche and Wild will begin answering those questions tonight.

(Oh, and also that whole Matt Cooke-Tyson Barrie thing. Might want to keep an eye on that.)

Avs name Iginla alternate captain


Jarome Iginla is back in an official leadership role — on Wednesday, Colorado announced that Iginla would serve as an alternate captain this season, along with fellow veteran Cody McLeod.

Both will serve alongside Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog, who’s worn the “C” since 2012.

Iginla, 37, spent nine of his 16 seasons in Calgary as team captain and, prior to that, spent three years as an alternate under Dave Lowry, Bob Boughner and Craig Conroy.

His appointment in Colorado follows with a recent trend of teams appointing free agent signees to their leadership group. In Buffalo, prized UFAs Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges were named captain and alternate; Andrew Ference got the “C” in Edmonton a short while after coming over from Boston; Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were named alternates in Minnesota prior to playing their first games for the Wild.