The goal was Iggy’s 80th game winner of his career and also his 500th goal. It caused the Saddledome crowd to erupt into chants of “Iggy, Iggy, Iggy!” and gave the Flames a much-needed boost to win the game. Putting the goal into perspective, Iggy has now scored 80 game-winning goals. Wayne Gretzky, the all-time NHL goal-scoring leader, had 91 game winners in his 894 goals.
It was certainly a proud moment for Jarome Iginla, and also overshadowed Olli Jokinin’s 1000 NHL game celebration (which happened in Nashville last week) and Brent Sutter’s 100th win with the Calgary Flames.
The game got off to a slow start, remaining scoreless through 2 periods. It wasn’t until 2:02 of the 3rd period that the Flames broke the 0-0 stalemate when Lance Bouwma scored his 1st NHL goal. Bouwma’s goal gave the Flames a boost and they pressed for much of the next 6 minutes until Iggy’s goal. About a minute before he scored his 500th, Iggy fired a close-range shot off the crossbar and you could see that it fired him up and that the big goal was coming.
After Iggy’s eventual game winner, Curtis Glencross added to the pile by scoring his 17th of the season. It put the Flames up 3-1 and secured the win, though Calgary only needed 2 goals for the win tonight thanks to Miikka Kiprusoff.
Dany Heatley scored the lone goal for the Wild with just over 6 minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late… as the cliche goes.
So what can we learn from this 3-1 vistory?
1) Jarome Iginla is the greatest Calgary Flames player of all time (with all respect to the other greats over the years).
2) A 9-0 loss means nothing when you follow it up with a big win.
3) It sometimes takes a rookie to spark the veterans to great things.
4) Mikka Kiprusoff is also the man. Don’t think for a second that he would let Iggy score his 500th in a losing effort.