Iginla’s first ever All Star Game goal could be considered a garbage goal simply because of the fact that it is the All Star Game. Iginla’s goal, at 16:46 of the 2nd period tied the game at 8-8 after it trickled through Henrik Lundqvist’s legs and past the goal line. To be sure Iginla would be credited with his first goal, Zdeno Chara knocked the puck off the goalie and into the net in an attempt to keep it out. Jarome and his linmates Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau weren’t sure who actually scored until Iginla’s name was announced.
The All Star Game is where the NHL’s best talent display why they are paid millions of dollars per season, and why most of the either wear the ‘C’ or ‘A’ on their jersey. All Star Game goals usually involve a combination of pinpoint passing and accurate shooting, much like the Marc Savard + Alexander Ovechkin = goal for Andrei Markov combination in the first period of this year’s game. If it’s not a passing play, then it could be a pure-talent play like Evgeni Malkin’s between-the-legs shot or Rick Nash’s breakaway backhand-over-the-goalie’s-shoulder roofer that came 42 seconds later. Iginla’s goal did not live up to these standards, but I’m sure he doesn’t really care. After 5 appearances, the Flames Captain finally shed the monkey from his back and scored in a NHL All Star Game.
This year’s All Star Game was a perfect end to a fantastic weekend in Montreal. A 12-11 shootout final that featured 102 shots and the first penalty since 2000! The whole weekend was masterfully organized by the Canadiens, and the fans were treated to some great times by the NHL. The players were very accessible to the fans and I heard several stories of locals running into past and present NHL stars all over the city. Sidney Crosby stopped by a local fitness club to workout on Saturday afternoon, and Gordie Howe attended a minor hockey game on Sunday afternoon. The kids on the ice had no idea who he was, but the parents (and grandparents) watching sure did! It may possibly be the only time that little Brandon’s parents weren’t up there with their stop-watch comparing how much ice time their son logged compared to the coach’s son.
Iggy’s first All Star goal came during what could be as considered as close to perfection as we’ll ever see in an All Star weekend. He almost sealed the game with his 2nd goal in overtime, but Bruins goalie Tim Thomas foiled the attempt with a well-timed right pad save to keep the East alive long enough to win it in the shootout. The Montreal fans may have chosen their All Star MVP long before the weekend started, but Alexei Kovalev lived up to their expectations by scoring 2 regulation goals and adding an assist before winning the game with his 2nd-round shootout goal on Roberto Luongo. Amid the cheers of the fans, Kovalev walked away with the oversized key to a new truck, and a big smile on his face.