Captain Consistent

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

With his 30th goal of the season Saturday night in a 7-4 win over San Jose at the 'Dome, Jarome Iginla leapfrogged Joe Nieuwendyk into sole possession of second place on the Calgary Flames' all-time goals list.

Lost in the shuffle was the fact Iginla reached the lofty 30-goal perch for the sixth straight campaign.

If he could have potted just one more in 1999-2000 and two more the previous season, Iginla's franchise mark of consistency could stand at eight years of at least 30 goals.

"I had a 28 (goal) year and I wanted to get to 30 that year, then I had a 29 year," said Iginla yesterday.

"The first time I got to (30), it definitely felt like an achievement. It was a goal before the start of the season that first time.

"Now the goal is a little higher than 30 but I'm still thankful."

Iginla's on pace for 41 goals but would have had a good shot for a second 50-goal season if not for a knee injury that sidelined him a month.

His consistency says a lot about the kind of player he is.

"That's what makes him an elite player in this league. Being consistent like that every year. It's hard to do," said Flames centre Daymond Langkow.

Those sentiments were shared by Craig Conroy.

"Great players are consistent and they're able find ways to do it every year. It gets harder every year because people pay attention," said Conroy, adding the humble Iginla enjoys every lighting of the lamp.

"He looooves scoring, there's no doubt about it. As humble as he is.

"He does it better than most guys in the league. He can bury them."

As for passing Nieuwendyk -- the player he was traded for in 1995 -- Iginla was humbled.

"I don't really look at those things but it's nice when you hear them," said Iginla. "I have played for quite a while here. It means I'm getting a little older.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've been given. I've got to play in an offensive role for a long time here, that's definitely part of it.

"Hopefully (I can) keep going and keep climbing. I'd like to be here for a long time -- and win."


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