Jarome Iginla had an amazing pre season with the Bruins scoring twice in the opener against the Canadiens. Since then he hasn’t shown his true scoring touch in the regular season but being only 6 games into the season, it shouldn’t be too much of a worry.
On the flipside former Bruin Tyler Seguin is showing some successes in Dallas scoring 8 points in 6 games and leading the team. People have already gotten worried we made a huge mistake letting Seguin go and that Iginla is just gonna remain snake bitten for the next 82 games. Let’s lay this worry to rest.
Yes, Seguin is showing a flash in the pan down in Dallas. Anyone can do that. The best example can be Blake Wheeler‘s success in Boston in the 2008-09 season as well as the story of Pat Falloon. Let’s start by looking at Blake Wheeler. Wheeler was drafted 5th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He had an enormously successful college career at the University of Minnesota. When it came time for him to sign with a team he turned down Phoenix and signed with the Boston Bruins. Wheeler had an explosive rookie year scoring 21 goals and 45 total points in 82 games. The Bruins thought they had a competent right winger on their hands in this 6’5 forward from Minnesota. But something happened, Wheeler stopped carrying his weight and his game suffered. He dropped to 38 points in the 2009-10 season and 27 points in the 58 games he played with the Bruins during the 2010-11 season before being shipped to Atlanta for Rich Peverly and Boris Valabik. Peverly was an integral part of the 2011 Stanley Cup Team and was also apart of the Tyler Seguin trade. Wheeler rebounded his first season in Winnipeg scoring 64 points, leading the team in scoring and coming within 4 goals of tying his career high of 21. I am willing to put money down the thought ran through some Bruins fans heads that we had made a mistake letting Blake Wheeler go. He could have been a dangerous first line forward with the right system and it was showing his first season with a new team, while Peverly only scored 42 points in 57 games during that same season. What has Wheeler done since then? A 41 point season in 48 games and a -1 on a team that missed the playoffs by a mile and he is currently 8th in team scoring on the Winnipeg Jets with 4 points in 8 games a -2. Trading Wheeler was the right thing to do. He was a player who wasn’t carrying his weight and not using his size and strengths to their full potential. Has he shown better numbers in Winnipeg then he did with the Bruins since being traded? Yes. But would we have won a cup with Blake Wheeler on the roster? No. His playoff history in Boston is shaky only scoring 6 points in 21 career playoff games in the two seasons he was here. Wheeler was someone who could have been an answer to the problems the Bruins were having but he threw the responsibility to the side and his flash in the pan coupled with the Winnipeg honeymoon in 2011-12 are over and it’s showing.
Now this transitions right into Pat Falloon. Picked 2nd overall in the 1991 NHL Draft right after the infamous selection of Eric Lindros by the Quebec Nordiques. Both were highly touted prospects and wanted by the two top pick holders (Much like Hall & Seguin were in 2010). Lindros would go on to being traded to Philadelphia where he won a Hart Trophy in 1995, A Lester B Pearson in 1995, and several Bobby Clarke Trophies between 1994 and 1999. Lindros would continue his rampant domination before concussions destroyed his career (The biggest two being the Hal Gill hit in 2001 and the Scott Stevens hit in 2000 ). Pat Falloon had two amazing seasons with the Sharks (1991-92, 1993-94) before his career fell off. He was never able to repeat those numbers again in his career and was shipped off to the Flyers after two abysmal seasons with the San Jose Sharks. With the Flyers he scored 48 points in 62 games during the 1995-96 season. Falloon was having his flash in the pan with the Flyers and much like with Blake Wheeler, I am willing to put money down a lot of Sharks fans stopped and wondered if the team made the right choice. Falloon would then crash and burn and played with 3 more times (Edmonton, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh) before retiring in 2001 with HC Davos of the Swiss-A Leauge. Falloon went from someone who was so highly touted and a franchise player to a journeyman after his lack of conditioning and effort caught up with him.
Tyler Seguin’s sudden out break in Dallas will not be withstanding the rest of the season. We are still very early into the 2013-14 season, and with the way things have been going lately (3 players carried out of games on stretchers in the last 3 days), Seguin’s break out could have stalled very quickly either from an injury on his line or sustaining one himself. I am not wishing an injury upon Seguin, but there is a high chance people will gun for him while he is down in Dallas. A player like him could be destroyed by a broken wrist (as he already has a history of wrist problems) or a concussion. Seguin will be hot now but will cool off incredibly fast, especially on the same team that hasn’t seen a playoff berth since 2008-09. Jarome Iginla is having a hard time adjusting to the pressure put on him in Boston, and with some leniency and breathing room he will have his chance to show us the player he really is. He is being utilized far better than he was in Pittsburgh and was very close to scoring against the Florida Panthers. Much like Eriksson he will capitalize on the right moment and the rest should fall into play from there. We can’t go throwing him aside or criticizing him yet, especially not this early in the year. He is not the 50 goal scorer he once was, we need to put that behind us and remember it’s been a long long time since he’s last achieved that milestone. He is a model of consistent success and will soon find his legs in Boston.