PHOENIX – Jarome Iginla and Johnny Bucyk didn’t remain side-by-side in the standings for very long.
The Bruins right winger continued his torrid month of March by potting a pair of goals – one to tie the game, and the second to ice the game with an empty net goal at the end of the third period – in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
With the two goals, Iginla has a ridiculous 11 goals scored during Boston’s 12-game winning streak, and passed Bucyk for 25th all-time with his 557th and 558th goals of his career.
“I think our team was really happy to see him score that goal, and keep moving forward,” said Claude Julien. “Chief has been one of the guys that’s been happy to see that, especially [with Iginla] being a Bruin. If somebody is gonna pass him it’s got to be somebody from this organization.”
The goal that put him at No. 25 all by himself was one that any old time hockey player would nod their head in appreciation of: Iginla stood in front of the goalie to face a Zdeno Chara slap shot, and had the puck ricochet off his equipment before ending in the top corner of the net.
“We were just joking about it. Every inch of you wants to move, but you can’t,” said Iginla. “It’s probably better not to. I was pretty excited that it missed me, and it went in. I think him being able to walk in that he’s going to beat the goalie most times without a screen, but I wanted to stay in front just in case.”
Guy Lafleur would be next at that point as No. 24 on the all-time list with 560 career goals.
Iginla has a good understanding of hockey history, and was appropriately deferential to Bucyk when surpassing his career goals numbers.
“I feel blessed to be up on that list, and a chance to [be around Bucyk] has been special,” said Iginla. “We’ve been joking back and forth and stuff, and it’s been pretty cool. Being on an Original Six team and being the legend that he is, it’s pretty special.”
The legendary Bruins forward, who now acts as the traveling secretary for the B’s and is a friendly, smiling presence on all their road trips, was happy to see Iginla reach goal No. 556 and beyond.
“It’s just a number compiled by the league to me, so I was happy for Jarome when he scored that goal,” said Bucyk. “I think I was No. 4 on that list when I retired, but there have been a lot of great players that have come along the way since then. Those kinds of numbers were meant to be surpassed.
“It’s also good to see that a member of the Bruins is doing it. I think Dave Andreychuk also passed me in goals scored when he was playing for the Bruins as well. So I’m used to it.”
Bucyk did have one record that does hold a special place in his heart, and he hopes to hold onto it forever.
“The only record I have that I really hold near and dear to me is being No. 1 on the goals scored list for the Bruins,” said Bucyk, who notched an incredible 545 goals for the Black and Gold during his 1,436 games played for Boston. “That one has meaning to me.”
Bucyk has nearly 100 goals on Phil Esposito in second place on the Bruins all-time list, and there aren’t any current Bruins players even remotely close to the top-10 that starts with Don Marcotte’s 230 goals scored.
Patrice Bergeron is the current Bruins leader with 174 career goals in the Black and Gold, and he’s got a solid chance of cracking the top-10 before he hangs ‘em up someday far into the future.
Combine that with the rarity of an NHL player suiting up for an entire career with one team anymore in the age of free agency, and it would appear Bucyk’s Bruins records will always stand the test of time. It also appears Iginla is far from done scoring given the way he’s scoring goals for the Black and Gold right now.