Jarome Iginla became the 47th player in NHL history to reach 1,200 points on Friday night when he scored in the second period in the Colorado Avalanche's 3-0 shutout victory over the Nashville Predators. Iginla’s tally—his 16th of the season—gave Colorado some insurance in the game, and helped the Avs in splitting this week’s home-and-home series against the top club in the Central Division.
“I definitely feel fortunate,” Iginla said when asked about the milestone. “When I started, I wouldn’t have guessed that. I just wanted to get in the league, and I was so excited to be in the NHL, and then you just want to stay in the league for a while. I’ve been so fortunate, blessed, to play a long time in the league and play with some great players.”
The Avalanche veteran, 37, now has 576 goals and 624 assists in 1,360 career games, which ties him with Dino Ciccarelli for 46th place on the all-time scoring list. Iginla’s tallies put him just one shy of tying Mark Recchi for 19th on the all-time goals list as well.
When asked about passing some of the NHL greats on his way up the lists, Iginla said, “I have been very fortunate and it's been fun, but I do find it neat. I would be lying if I said I didn't look at it or think it's pretty cool. My kids think it’s neat too."
Iginla has always found success against Nashville throughout his career, making it fitting to reach this milestone against the Predators. He now has 60 points (35 goals, 25 assists) in 55 games versus the team from Tennessee.
“I guess against some teams in the league, you seem to get a few better bounces and have a bit more success,” Iginla said. “Fortunately tonight it went in, but it was a really good game from our team all the way around. It feels like as a whole group, we are playing better and starting to come [together].”
Iginla also extended his goal streak to a season-high three games, and he led the club with seven goals in January. He credits his recent play to the positive mentality and overall improvement of the team as a whole.
"I've been getting good looks,” he said. “For a while now, I've been getting more shots and more attempts. As a whole team, we are playing better and feeling better and getting more offensive chances. I don't know if there is any one thing that is different, but I think all of us are feeling a little better with the puck.
"I think we have been getting better as a team since December. Guys know where we are [in the standings], but it's really about how we're playing, trying to improve certain things. We've been working on our D-zone, our neutral zone, our forecheck, and just try to get better and better in those areas. It's coming for us, and we're gaining some confidence.”
Colorado head coach Patrick Roy recognizes Iginla’s hard work and credits his professionalism both on and off the ice for the success he has had so far this season.
"He's a great pro,” Roy said. “He is simply a great pro. He is taking care of himself on and off the ice. He's ready every time he comes to the rink. I'm very impressed with him. There is a reason why he is having the success that he has had so far, and he certainly deserves a lot of credit for it."