Knowing the questions were coming his way, Jarome Iginla did his research.

Admittedly, his start has been rough this NHL season.

He's well aware his minus-10 rating and paltry five goals through the first 17 games is not up to anyone's standards of a top player, especially his own.

But it's not as bad as last year, and the Calgary Flames captain had statistical evidence at the ready as he faced a throng of media members Thursday after practice at the Saddledome.

"I actually feel better than I did last year," Iginla said when asked if it seems harder to snap out of his traditional early-season slump this time around.

"I was looking at my game logs last year, and I think I was minus-6 last year with three goals. I think I had one or two more assists."

Pretty close.