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Daymond Langkow, Jarome Iginla and Marcus Nilson celebrate Flames second goal during third period...

Daymond Langkow, Jarome Iginla and Marcus Nilson celebrate Flames second goal during third period action against Minnesota Wild. (SUN/Jim Wells)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

Darren McCarty had previously seen what the fuss surrounding Jarome Iginla was all about.

It's just that he's always been on the other side, making it all the less enjoyable.

A day after watching Iginla dominate a game from puck drop to the final buzzer, McCarty was like so many others in the city, relishing the performance and hoping it was a sign Iginla is back in all-world form.

"I guess that's the Jarome Iginla everybody is used to seeing," McCarty said after yesterday's practice at the Corral.

"I've said all along people need to relax. That game showed why people sometimes get frustrated or can be questioning because you saw how he just dominated a game. But he does more than just score.

"He maybe hasn't put up the numbers you see from other offensive guys in the league but he does a lot more of the little things."

Against the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night, Iginla didn't just do the little things. He did the big things and humongous things, too, other than get into a fight.

That order was left to McCarty.

Iginla was a wrecking crew in so many ways during the Flames' 3-2 win over Montreal.

He scored twice, notching the game-winner in consecutive games with his second goal, assisted on another tally, threw hits, battled in the corners and saved the best for last.

With the clock ticking down and Montreal trying to pull goalie Jose Theodore for the extra attacker, Iginla, with some help from his linemates, hemmed in the Canadiens skaters.

Even a grizzled veteran like Chris Simon couldn't help but be mighty impressed.

"That shows his all-around game," Simon said. "Not only is he a great goal scorer, he's a great all-around hockey player, if not the best all-around in the game today."

It's lofty praise that's been a long time in the making.

Iginla's play has ramped up of late -- six goals in seven games since the calendar flipped to 2006 -- but production had ebbed for a full six weeks previous.

In the last 19 games of 2005, he netted just four goals and six assists, well off the pace expected.

However, Simon said Iginla's value goes beyond the point totals.

"People always judge by goals and assists but he does everything. He can hit -- how many guys with his talent hit and fight like he does? -- and kills penalties," Simon said. "He works his butt off every day in practice and every game. You can never say he takes a night off and, because of that, you know good things are going to come.

"You know he'll be rewarded with his skill level and the way he plays the game."

Now, the test is whether that display was a sign Iginla's rounded into form to be among the best in the game, or a blip on the screen.

Obviously, Iginla -- who's spent most of the last couple of games playing on a line with Matthew Lombardi and Steve Reinprecht -- figures a strong second half is on the way.

"I'm feeling good. Feeling good and, as a line, we're creating more scoring chances," he said. "The last couple of games we've been able to use each other to create things out of the corners and get some scoring chances.

"Our confidence is growing and confidence is a big part of everybody's game."


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