Searching To Find The ‘One’

By Randy Sportak
Updated: January 28, 2008

ATLANTA — Jarome Iginla was certain his all-star game scoring slump was over.

The Calgary Flames captain, in his fourth showcase contest and still looking for his first tally, had the golden chance in the second period of Sunday’s 8-7 Eastern Conference victory at Atlanta’s Philips Arena.

And he struck iron. “I aimed it,” he said, still able to laugh about the situation. “I really saw it right there, but it wasn’t meant to be. “I never shot it, I aimed it.”

It’s amazing situation considering Iginla has been one of the NHL’s most prolific goal scorers since the turn of the century.

“I could see he really wanted to score,” said former Flames teammate Marc Savard, who had the game winner with 20.9 seconds remaining. “I was telling the guys on the bench he was hungry.”

But the blanking isn’t a lost cause. Iginla will still donate $5,000 to KidSport, which helps cover the costs of sporting endeavours for under-privileged children.

And he had a good time in what was one of the more entertaining all-star games in recent memory.

“It was a fun game,” Iginla said. “There were some good chances. I was a plus this time, so I’ve got to work with the positives. I was hoping it would be tonight and now ‘Neuf (Flames teammate Dion Phaneuf) has two in two. He has no problem with it.”

Playing with Rick Nash, who scored three times, Iginla was a plus-two. He also collected an assist, the second all-star game point of his career.

“That’s another positive. It’s fun playing with another guy out there who’s on fire and not feeling like an anchor over there,” he said with a laugh.

Phaneuf has scored in each of his all-star trips, but wasn’t going to chide his star teammate too much.

“He scores when they really count and he does a good job of it,” Phaneuf said.

Still, he had to add with a grin: “But it was nice to get one.”

One of the most competitive people you’ll meet, Iginla was all smiles, so the defeat wasn’t the end of the world.

“The first period, we’re thinking we’ve got to shoot a bit more but then you look up at the end and we’ve got 50-some shots on the goalies,” he said. “It was probably the quickest one I’ve played to date. It was enjoyable, and hopefully I get another chance to end the drought.”