BOSTON, MA - Bruins winger Jarome Iginla will be in the lineup tonight when Boston hosts his former longtime team, the Calgary Flames, at TD Garden.
Iginla didn't join in Monday's practice at Ristuccia Arena, as he was being evaluated by team doctors after dislocating his finger in a fight with Ryan Kesler Saturday night in Vancouver.
But, all checked out with the X-Rays. Nothing broken. Just a dislocated finger that was put back into place.
"When I first looked at it, I would have thought it was for sure [broken]; I had never seen anything like – I had never been through it," Iginla said on Tuesday morning, after taking part in the team's pregame skate.
"So I was thrilled and relieved that it wasn’t and they put it back and just made sure that it was stable enough and good to go, and yesterday, I came back and saw our doctors and put a splint on, I’ll be good to go."
Just like that. Good to go.
On Saturday night, immediately after the fight in the first period, Iginla skated off the ice went to the room. Photos (taken from the feed on NESN) of the dislocated finger had floated around Twitter and social media.
"Some family and some friends were wondering; I guess they were a little grossed out when they saw it," remarked Iginla, of the way the finger looked. "It was a little different. And so was I [grossed out]."
"It kind of freaked me out, but fortunately the doctors were able to put it back in and not too much damage."
So, when the puck dropped on the second period, there was Iginla, out there for David Krejci's opening faceoff. Reilly Smith was originally put out there, but, alas, there was Iginla to slide right in, and finish out the game.
"When I first saw it, I thought I was going to be out for while and stuff but I’m very thankful," said Iginla. I'm sure the rest of the roster and Boston faithful felt the same, especially given the Bruins' injury woes as of late.
"I’ve never had that before and they do the X-Rays and put it back and stuff, and I thought it would be worse and fortunately it’s not that bad and long-term it’s not that bad so it looked a lot worse I guess than it was."
Most weren't really that surprised to see the toughness in Iginla going back out to finish the game. But, given the way the finger had looked, it was still a testament to his ability to push through any pain.
"I think part of it is when you’re playing, you want to be in every game. Ysou want to play. We love to play," said Iginla. "It’s fun to compete out there, and you want to be part of the team so I think it’s just – you see guys do it all the time but I think it’s just a normal reaction especially once the game starts, you want to be in that lineup and you want to be a part of what’s going on."
"So you take some painkillers or some freezing and it’s fine; guys go through that all the time."
Like Iginla, his teammates didn't even think twice about his return.
And there was no show-and-tell from Iginla in the locker room, flashing around the grotesque finger.
"I think it kind of goes without saying all the way around, if we can play, we want to be out there," said the winger. "I don’t know if they looked at, I wasn’t walking around showing my finger to guys," he added with a laugh.
"Lots of guys leave, you see it, and then they come back if they can do it, it’s one of those things where you just really want to be out there."
"If you’ve been through it before, you probably knew I guess you can put it back and you’re good to go."
Just put it back, and all good to go. Oh, hockey.
"I think it speaks a lot about his commitment, also, to us, to the team," Patrice Bergeron said, about Iginla battling through any pain to finish out the game. "And he wants to do whatever it takes to be out there and battle and try to help."
"He’s a true leader, a veteran, and that particular moment shows how tough he is, but also how committed he is."