Jarome Iginla admitted his kids and wife were “grossed out” watching last weekend’s game when the 36-year-old forward dislocated his left ring finger while fighting with Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler.
It’s no wonder. Pretty much everyone was a little wigged out after watching replays with Iginla’s left ring finger pointed in an unnatural direction after it got caught up in Kesler’s equipment.
“Afterward I just looked at it and tried to move it. It just looked really funny and kind of freaked me out,” said Iginla. “Some family and friends were a little grossed out when they saw it . . . and so was I. Fortunately the doctors were able to put it back in, and there wasn’t too, too much damage.
“It’s my top hand, so it wasn’t too bad once you started playing. When I first saw it I thought I was going to be out awhile. But fortunately it’s not that bad. It looked a lot worse than it was.”
Iginla said he won’t need surgery on the injury, and that it should heal up naturally with minimal ligament damage.
But Iginla is also a guy that’s missed only four of his last 519 games dating back to the middle of the 2006-07 NHL season. He won’t be sitting out of the lineup unless it’s something pretty major. The B’s right wing returned for the final two periods of Saturday night’s loss to the Canucks, and then had his finger popped back in by doctors on Monday afternoon before the same doctors subsequently cleared him to play tonight against the Flames.
He said streaks of consecutive games played aren’t really a big deal to him, but it’s more about his simple love of playing the games.
“I don’t really think about it over a long term basis. You just want to play in every game. It’s fun to compete and you want to be a part of the team,” said Iginla. “If you go around the room, everybody in here wants to be a part of game day. It sucks being out of the lineup. Once the game starts you want to be a part of that lineup. I’ve been blessed [with good health], and you need to be lucky too.
“I’m thankful for the number of games that I get to play. Whenever you get a scare that you’re going to miss some, it makes you appreciate it that much more that you’re part of the lineup and playing.”
With full medical clearance, Iginla will play in his 34th consecutive game this season for the Black and Gold without missing any time due to injuries.
That’s just par for the course for the 17-year veteran.