Colorado Avalanche: Jarome Iginla’s Midseason Grade

Jan 4, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla (12) takes a shot on the Los Angeles Kings goal in the first period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla (12) takes a shot on the Los Angeles Kings goal in the first period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Colorado Avalanche forward, Jarome Iginla, scored his 600th goal two nights ago, and now he’s stopping by for his midseason mark.

So, maybe he’s not having the best season for the Avalanche this year, especially when compared to last year, but he’s still contributing necessary points when needed, and he also just became a part of history with his 600th notch to the belt.

He currently sits with 21 points through the first 40 games of the season, and if he continues on that pace he’ll end up with 43 points on the year, a significant drop from his production last year when he put up 59.

He has 5 points in his last seven games though.

The Set Up!

Jarome Iginla needs to get his scoring ways back if the Avalanche hope to use a productive depth scoring approach to their game.

Playing on a line with Alex Tanguay will certainly help that cause, and I also think that Mikhail Grigorenko’s recent promotion will also be of benefit, not only to Tangs and Iggy, but also for Grigs.

Alex Tanguay is also having a slow year with just 13 points in 29 games, which would be a large drop from his production last year as well, yet he has missed 11 games this season.

However, that’s neither here nor there, I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that the Avalanche need more productive depth scoring, and hopefully Grigs will able to aid in that cause with Tangs and Iggy.

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What matters is trying to find a center who will work well with Iggy and Tangs, and I think that Grigs will be that guy because he is so patient and methodical with the puck, and the two vets are slowing down a bit in the late stages of their careers.

Regardless, even though Iggy marked the 600th goal of his career two nights ago, he still only has 11 on the season, which puts him on pace for 22 goals through 82 games, not far from last year’s production (29), but he has it in him to put up 30 easily.

I think he’ll get hot and start putting up a good number of goals throughout the rest of the year, and his production will certainly help that of Tanguay and Grigorenko as well. Nonetheless, he’s still susceptible to being taken advantage on the ice.

Jarome Iginla at His Worst

Well, he’s slowing down so his positioning is becoming more and more important at this stage in his career.

When he’s out of position he doesn’t have the speed to catch up, which is why the construction of the shut-down line (Gabe Landeskog – Carl Soderberg – Blake Comeau) is so imperative to the Colorado Avalanche.

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It’s obvious that Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay are both slowing down as they age, and are becoming less and less capable of keeping up with the skill and speed that is now a part of this new NHL.

As such, their line will benefit from Grigorenko’s defensive presence because he is able to cover a lot of ice, and is also very gifted in the turnover department.

However, Iggy needs to make sure that he positions himself well in order to ensure that he is not a liability in his own end, and in the neutral zone. He still seems to have a good set of legs, but only on short shifts. Here’s an example:

It took me awhile to find this video, but it’s a perfect example. It’s not really Iggy’s fault that he can’t keep up with Tyler Bozak, it’s just the fact of the matter.

Bozak is clearly behind Iginla in the neutral zone, and Iggy is skating as hard as he can to keep up with him, but he gets beat and eventually Bozak scores on the back-hand.

So, Iginla at his worst is really something that is out of his control. He can’t skate with the young guns anymore, and is a liability to get beat when he’s on the ice, and that’s an innate part of aging in hockey.

Nonetheless, Jarome Iginla uses good positioning in order to provide good contributions when he is on the ice, and for my money, I think he’s still got a lot left in the tank.

Jarome Iginla at His Best

He’s a goal scorer obviously, so he’s at his best when he’s smacking twine with the biscuit. Here’s No. 600 in case you missed it:

That’s just what happens when you score a lot of goals, you get lucky and sometimes the fluky ones go in. But, check this play out by Iggy, because I think it’s him at his best:

He forechecks heavy on the face-off, which forces the puck behind the net, and then he pressures the man with the puck behind the net into making an errant pass straight to Alex Tanguay.

Tangs gives a soft feed to Iggy that could have been easily picked off, but Iggy out muscles another Edmonton player, which helps him get the puck in front of the net all alone.

He makes no mistake in finishing the shot 5-hole, and the Avalanche took a 4-1 lead into comfort zone.

That’s a real good example of Jarome’s power-forward play working in a successful manner. He’s at his best when he’s working hard on the forecheck and keeping his stick on the ice ready to rip a shot off for a goal.

Jarome Iginla’s Midseason Grade

I’ll give him a B- because he’s been up and down this season, and even though he’s 38 years old, he needs to produce more consistently in a secondary scoring role, while Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon continue to lead the way.

However, like I mentioned earlier, I’m really hoping that Grigorenko will provide an offensive jump to Tanguay and Iginla, and the Avs will be able to rely on some more consistent secondary scoring.

He’s finally scored his 600th goal, and now it’s off his back and he can just worry about contributing to the team. Reuniting Tanguay and Iginla may prove worth the move, but having the two oldest forwards on the same line is certainly a risk.

Nonetheless, Alex Tanguay has assisted on a bunch of Iginla’s goals (2nd most all time by any player with 77) so it truly makes sense for them to be paired on a line together.

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Grigs will just have to make sure that he’s very aware of his defensive responsibilities while playing with both of them, which is why I think he’s the perfect line-mate for the two of them.

I’m predicting a hot streak from Iginla, and I think that Grigorenko and Tanguay will be large contributors to that cause.

Plus, Iggy will have a great opportunity to mentor Grigorenko with his style of play, and he should also pick up some pointers from Tanguay, especially with the silky smooth hands Grigs already seems to possess.

New Year’s Resolution

It’s a little late for New Year’s resolutions seeing as we are already in the midst of 2016, but Iginla still has some things I think he should take note of as this new year starts to pick up speed.

He’s a power-forward by nature, so I’d like to see him hit some more people in the corners, and be more tenacious on the forecheck like that Edmonton play I linked to earlier in the article.

He’s still a good enough skater to put pressure on defensemen and forwards in the offensive zone with the forecheck, and if he starts to bruise them more with hits then I think his game will certainly pick up.

I don’t think Jarome Iginla would be satisfied with a 43 point season, so look for him to start turning the jets on during the second half of this season.

The success of the Colorado Avalanche depends upon secondary scoring, and that scoring comes from Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla who both had great seasons last year, but are lacking in their production so far this season.

What’s on Tap?

The Colorado Avalanche play the St. Louis Blues tonight, and they’ll be looking for another win on home ice, and a chance to inch closer to .500 hockey at home.

Puck drop is at 8:00 PM Mountain Time tonight, and it’s another divisional contest, so the Colorado Avalanche should be prepared for this one. Hopefully they’re able to continue their winning ways against the Central Division, tune in to find out!

Next: Thoughts on Jarome Iginla's 600th Goal

If the Colorado Avalanche hope to make the playoffs, then they’ll need some more production from their secondary scoring players, and hopefully Mikhail Grigorenko will be able to help both Iggy and Tangs produce more consistently.

That’s all I’ve got for now because there’s no more reason for Christmas poems at the end of these midseason grades, especially since this will be the final midseason grade handed out to any player on the Colorado Avalanche roster.

What do you think Avs fans? Will Grigorenko help to amplify the production of Tanguay and Iginla? What did you think of Iggy’s midseason grade? What New Year’s resolution would you have given him? Let us know in the comments!