If the playoffs began today Bruins winger Jarome Iginla would be in the lineup, says head coach Claude Julien. But the playoffs don’t begin today, and the Boston Bruins sit comfortably atop the NHL standings with one more week of regular season hockey on the docket.
Claude Julien said Jarome Iginla is being held out for precautionary purposes and would be ready to play if it was the playoffs #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 7, 2014
Iginla has been a great addition to the Bruins this season. When right-winger Nathan Horton decided to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets this past offseason there may have been a moment of worry within the Bruins organization concerning how they would possibly replace the clutch scorer. Luckily, Iginla was available, and the Bruins were able to lock him to a cap-friendly one-year deal.
Whatever injury issues Iginla is suffering through don’t seem to be serious, and that’s great news for Boston, who will enter the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the clear-cut favourite in the Eastern Conference, if not the entire NHL. It would be a shame if Boston’s great season went unrewarded because of injury troubles in the postseason – the B’s are already without dependable experienced defenceman Dennis Seidenberg for an indefinite amount of time.
Since joining the Bruins at the beginning of the 2013-14 NHL season Iginla has done exactly what he always does: play with ferocity, score goals and lead by example on the ice. And Iggy got really hot in the month of March, scoring 13 goals and hitting the 30-goal milestone for the 12th straight full season.
In the biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth, Jarome Iginla was named NHL's No. 1 Star for the month of March. 13 big goals last month
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 1, 2014
The Bruins seem poised to win the Presidents’ Trophy this season and return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year, and third time in four postseasons.
When Iginla was signed as a free agent the talk was that the Bruins would try to “win it for Iggy.” The inspirational future Hall Of Famer without a ring scenario has often fuelled Stanley Cup heroics in the past, so this may work out for the Bruins, who already possess enough incentive to win another Cup regardless of Jarome Iginla. But it helps that the team seems to have a thing for Iggy; that thing being incredible respect.
Resting Iginla is a terrific decision by head coach Claude Julien. The Bruins are a better team with Iggy in the lineup – no sense risking aggravation to any existing minor injury with the playoffs so close. In fact, now is the time for Boston to strongly consider resting a few others, as well.