BOSTON — Just a few months ago, Jarome Iginla was the most talked-about player at the trade deadline. The then-Flames captain was the target on just about every contender’s radar — Bruins included.
Fast-forward to the Eastern Conference finals, and you’d be hard-pressed to even recall Iginla suiting up, as the Penguins forward, who turned down a trade to the B’s to link on with Pittsburgh instead, was a non-factor all series — much like many of his fellow high-profile teammates.
Iginla ended the Eastern Conference finals with five total shots on net to go with a minus-4 rating.
“Obviously we’re a very good team, too, and we went cold at the wrong time,” he said after the sweep. “I had a very tough series, there’s no question about that. I just didn’t get anything going for the group. These four games, I just didn’t play very well, and that’s when you want to play your best for the team, and you want to find ways to contribute and be a part of these close games, and help it go the other way.”
While Iginla obviously didn’t think much of the B’s in early April, he sure recognized how strong of a team they were here in June, as he witnessed firsthand a dominant series sweep that saw the B’s outscore the Pens 12-2
“It was something that as a team, overtime games and a 1-0 game here, you’re just trying to find a way to get that extra goal, and they did it,” he admitted. “They deserve to be moving on, but it definitely hurts.”
As for his decision to turn down the team that just ended his season?
“It doesn’t make it easier, but I’m very fortunate to get the chance to come to Pitt, and you want this opportunity,” Iginla said. “You want an opportunity to be in the conference finals, and have a chance to win, and we had that chance. The Bruins, they played very well, they’re a very good team. I was fortunate to have that choice, and when you make it you definitely believe in the guys here, and we played some great hockey up until this last series.”