It was an emotional night for Jarome Iginla in Calgary.
The Flames’ all-time leading point scorer played 17 seasons in Calgary before getting traded to Pittsburgh at last year’s trade deadline. The emotions only got higher as a pregame video montage of Iginla’s years in Calgary played and the crowd chanted “Iggy Iggy” for several minutes.
After the game, the warm welcome back continued for Iginla. He was named the third star of the game and was once again given a standing ovation. As Iginla tried to skate back to the dressing room, he was met by Zdeno Chara, who would not let him leave the ice before giving the crowd one last curtain call.
“It was definitely emotional,” Iginla said. ”I really appreciated the fans. It was a cool feeling and it felt special and the ovation there at the start and then you kind of feel funny out there standing by yourself.”
Iginla added, “The guys were great. (Zdeno Chara) and all the guys came out and wouldn’t let me off the ice. I went for one little loop and they were like, ‘no, no, you’ve got to go one more’ and then they made me go one more, too. It was fun and it was nice of the fans.”
In between the celebration of Iginla’s time in Calgary, the two teams did in fact play a hockey game. Once again the Boston Bruins did not get off to a great start. After two periods, Boston trailed 1-0 and were getting outshot 22-9. Now normally such a poor start would have me angrier than Shawn Thornton was at Brooks Orpik a couple of games ago. However, I have come to realize that it is simply unreasonable to expect the team to be able to play their style of hockey through an entire 82-game season. It would leave them too drained by the end of the season and I am fine with trading a couple of regular season losses for more playoff success.
I have also come to expect the team to make some sort of push late in games. So when the team scored twice in a span of 98-seconds, I was not surprised.
The first of the two goals came on the power-play when David Krejci deflected a Torey Krug slap shot 13:49 into the third period. Feeding off the momentum of that first goal, the team quickly scored again, taking their first lead of the game.
Reilly Smith entered the Flames zone with speed down the right wing and cut towards net as he past the faceoff dot. Smith was able to pick the top corner with a wrist shot that beat Flames goalie Reto Berra.
The offensive skill Smith has shown so far this season has been really impressive. His decision making, which is his best attribute, has helped him become third on the team in points scored. He has gone from just a throw in player in the Tyler Seguin deal to the most productive player Boston got in return for their former second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Although he did not score a goal, it was a perfect homecoming for Iginla as his team won and he got to thank the fans that supported him for 17 NHL seasons.