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Iginla has no problem being the bad guy

Friday, 09.19.2008 / 9:00 AM / Season Preview

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor


With several intimidating buildings across the NHL, winning on the road is never easy. That's why it's helpful to have players who are willing to step up and provide the type of production necessary to win away from home. With that in mind, here is NHL.com's list of the Western Conference's 10 best players on the road:

1. Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames --
Is anybody really shocked the Flames captain tops this list?

It really doesn't matter what rink Iginla is playing in because he'll always be one of the best -- if not the best -- players on the ice, as was the case last season. In 41 road games last season, Iginla had 54 points (29 goals, 25 assists) -- tops in the West.

2. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings -- He was recognized in June for his two-way play when he won the Selke Trophy, but one could make the case that Datsyuk remains the most underrated player in the League. His 96 points led the Stanley Cup champs, and 51 (16 goals, 35 assists) came in buildings not named Joe Louis Arena.

3. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks -- Thornton was a 50-50 player last season -- and we don't mean 50 goals in 50 games. Thornton truly was "Mr. Consistency” in 2007-08, as half of his 96 points came on the road. In 41 games, the hulking center had 13 goals and 35 assists.

4. Mike Ribeiro, Dallas Stars -- Ribeiro played a key role in the Stars' run to a 97-point season. Ribeiro actually enjoyed more success away from American Airlines Center, as 43 (12 goals, 31 assists) of his 83 points were tallied on the road.

5. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings -- He may have been the Western Conference's best player on home ice, but that doesn't mean Zetterberg tanked on the road. The 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner still averaged more than a point per game away from Motown, as he went 17-22-39 in 35 contests.

6. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks -- His consistent play on the road was one of many reasons the Ducks enjoyed a solid second half of the 2007-08 campaign. Overall, Getzlaf had 12 goals and 27 assists in 40 road games.

7. Kristian Huselius, Columbus Blue Jackets -- He has a new home this season, which is just fine considering how he played away from Calgary in 2007-08. In 41 road games with the Flames, Huselius -- who signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent -- had 15 goals and 22 assists.

8. Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes -- The grizzled veteran always made his presence felt within a young lineup -- especially when the Coyotes weren't playing in the desert. Phoenix's captain appeared in all but one road game last season and notched 12 goals and 24 assists.

9. Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars -- Yet another captain who likes to lead by example, Morrow did just that for his club last season. While Mike Ribeiro led the charge offensively, Morrow chipped in with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 41 road contests.

10. Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks -- One of the NHL's most pleasant surprises last season, Sharp was phenomenal on the road in 2007-08. How good? Well, 22 of 36 goals came away from the United Center. Overall, Sharp had 34 points in cities not named Chicago.

Contact Brian Compton at: bcompton@nhl.com.


Quote of the Day

It was pretty unbelievable...I think (my family in France) is pretty much in front of the TV right now. I don't think I have to wake them up.

— 29-year-old Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare after scoring his first NHL goal
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