'Hits & Misses': Iginla honored in Calgary

'Hits & Misses': Iginla honored in Calgary
December 11, 2013, 2:15 am
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Here’s another round of “Hits” and “Misses” from Boston’s 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Jarome Iginla’s first return home since being traded away from his longtime NHL employer last spring.

HITS

*The Calgary Flames organization rolled out the red carpet for the best player that ever put on a Flames jersey, and celebrated his 16 years of service with the kind of understated, classy style you’d expect from an NHL team. It wasn’t overdone or contrived, but instead focused on Jarome Iginla’s roots in the community and the intense love between the fan base and a player that scored over 500 goals in a Flames uniform.

*Zdeno Chara’s decision to bring the entire B’s team to the bench to watch Iginla be celebrated as the game’s No. 3 star and then prod Iginla into taking two postgame victory laps at the Saddledome was something special. It was an example of the kind of keen leadership and selfless team mentality that Chara fosters in the Bruins dressing room, where everybody is respected and made to feel welcome as a member of the team. Chara has really grown as a leader on and off the ice during his time in Boston, and has come to really understand what it’s all about.

*Tuukka Rask made 26 saves – including a couple of impressive stops stoning Mike Cammalleri – and rebounded nicely from a soft goal allowed to Jiri Hudler in the second period. The Bruins goaltender has exhibited signs of fatigue very recently, but didn’t show any of that on Tuesday night.

*David Krejci led all forwards with 23:34 of ice time, five shots on net and eight shot attempts generated, and potted his first power goal of the season to get Boston on the board in the third period. Krejci was willing to pay the price to get to the front of the net, and got rewarded with a fine tip of a Torey Krug shot from the high point.

*Torey Krug has 18 points, and 10 of them have come on the power play. He’s been a huge difference-maker in pushing the B’s power play to something that’s actually dangerous on occasion these days.

*Jarome Iginla didn’t get his empty net goal at the end to really put the icing on the cake, but he did manage to fire off seven shot attempts in over 21 minutes of ice time in his big, emotional homecoming.

*Reilly Smith made one heck of a move to power by TJ Brodie and then beat Reto Berra with an elevated wrist shot on a rush up the right wing, and was rewarded with the game-winning goal. It was his only shot of the game, but it was the kind of aggressive choice with the puck that typifies the Bruins style. It should be noted that Smith’s goal arrived when Claude Julien paired the winger up with Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner in the third period, and they tasted success on the very first shift together.

MISSES

*Joe Colborne took the delay of game penalty in the third period that led to Krejci’s power play goal, and then lost a one-on-one puck battle along the boards with Ryan Spooner that led directly to Reilly Smith’s game-winning goal.

*The Bruins didn’t show up for the first two periods of the game, and seemed to be subscribing to the New England Patriots of not actually putting things together until the last possible moment in a game. That’s not a good recipe for sustained success.

*Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner went 2-for-10 in face-offs, and definitely have some work to do in an area that players can easily get better at if they’re willing to work at it.

*Brad Marchand had zero shots on and net and a minus-1 in 15:17 of ice time, and made some poor choices with the puck on his stick.

*Same old Calgary Flames finding a way to squander a game in the third period when they couldn’t have extended things to a bigger lead in the first 40 minutes. It seems like it’s the same old, bad hockey movie for poor Flames fans over and over again.