Disclaimer: I've forgotten to write these twice this week for the same reason that I consistently misspell Iginla's first name: because I am literally the worst. Let's watch and pray as I try not to let any "Jerome"s slip through.
Colorado enthusiastically welcomed Jarome Iginla to Denver by pairing him with old friend Alex Tanguay and new hotshot Matt Duchene. It was a line that, on paper, should have resulted in goals by the bucket. Instead, if we don't include the shortened season, it was the first time Iginla hasn't had 30 goals since the 1998-99 season, when he was 21. The Avalanche website lists him as now being 38. Is his aging curve on the downslope, or did something strange happen last year? After all, the year before he still scored 30 goals for the Bruins. What was different?
- About half a minute less per game
- Personal and on-ice shooting percentages both actually went up
- Possession indicators fell off the face of the earth - from 62.4% to 47.8% CF
- Inferior teammates in terms of possession, specifically for (52.8 to 45.1 CorT%), and by percentage of ice time
- About half the assists on the power play, despite equivalent ice time, marked by a 3% drop in on-ice SH% with the man advantage
There was a time when Iginla was the caliber of player who could single handedly carry his line to dominance. Now, when we see its quality dropping from Boston to Colorado, his output suffers in kind.
What does it mean for 2015?
The downside to the Ryan O'Reilly trade is the team's top-end forwards are a little bit thinner in the immediate term. So that does not necessarily bode well for its impact on Iginla's production. Hopefully, improvement in the power play and possession overall as a team (especially from the blueline) will help drive him and whoever his linemates shake out to be, because otherwise the 30-goal dream is going to be a stretch.