Two of the NHL's top superstars have hit major milestones in recent days, with both Jarome Iginla and Alexander Ovechkin joining exclusive clubs. Iginla scored the 600th goal of his career last week, and Ovechkin followed him with his 500th on Sunday night.
The two players have more than their milestone timing in common. After all, they're both physical wingers who score a ton, have plenty on international experience, and have earned legions of fans around the world.
But they're not identical. In fact, a closer look at their careers and accomplishments reveals some subtle differences between two of the NHL's best known stars.
Jarome Iginla: At the end of the 2008-09 regular season, was named the recipient of the Mark Messier Award for team leadership, on-ice performance and community activities.
Alexander Ovechkin: At the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics, was named the recipient of the Mark Messier Award for everyone agreeing to just pretend the whole Vancouver thing never happened.
Alexander Ovechkin: Infuriated Penguins fans in 2005 by instantly developing fierce rivalries with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Jarome Iginla: Infuriated Penguins fans in 2013 by agreeing to go along with the Bruins' whole "Operation Double Agent" ploy at the trade deadline.
Jarome Iginla: In a classy gesture, once led his entire team onto the ice to shake hands with Trevor Linden to congratulate him on the occasion of the final game of the longtime Canucks' career.
Alexander Ovechkin: In a classy gesture, once led his entire team onto the ice to shake hands with Alexander Semin to congratulate him on the occasion of that one time he kind of vaguely tried to backcheck.
Alexander Ovechkin: By scoring his 484th goal a few weeks ago, finally became the NHL's all-time leading scorer among Russian players.
Jarome Iginla: By scoring his 596th goal a few weeks ago, finally got his career goals-to-middle-names ratio up to 1.0.
Jarome Iginla: Dropped the gloves with Vincent Lecavalier during the 2004 Stanley Cup final, in one of the most memorable fights in playoff history.
Alexander Ovechkin: Hasn't had that opportunity since we're pretty sure Lecavalier retired six years ago so he wouldn't have … wait, Dean Lombardi did what now?
Alexander Ovechkin: Was immediately bestowed with the nickname "The Great Eight" by the league's marketing experts upon entering the league in 2005.
Jarome Iginla: Along with every other human being on the face of the earth, has never actually called Ovechkin that.
Jarome Iginla: Enjoyed a career year with 52 goals and 96 points in 2001-02, but finished second in Hart Trophy balloting to Jose Theodore in a controversial vote that most experts now agree the writers got wrong.
Alexander Ovechkin: Also knows a thing or two about losing out on a major prize he was destined to win because some also-ran Habs goalie went on a hot streak, according to every Washington Capitals fan who just put their fist through a wall.
Alexander Ovechkin: Was heckled often and loudly by Montreal fans throughout that Capitals' opening round loss in the 2010 playoffs.
Jarome Iginla: Has never heard of Montreal fans heckling anyone, he swears, while frantically blinking "please change the subject before my crazy coach overhears and murders everyone" in morse code.
Jarome Iginla: Is such a talented and dynamic offensive player that experts agree that he'll be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Alexander Ovechkin: Is such a talented and dynamic offensive player that Jon Cooper would probably find some minutes for him on the third line somewhere, maybe.
Alexander Ovechkin: Has won the Ted Lindsay Award on three occasions, compared to only once for Iginla.
Jarome Iginla: Isn't too worried about that, since when have you ever known a Washington Capital to hold onto a 3-1 lead?
Jarome Iginla: Achieved one of the greatest honors possible for a hockey player by competing on his home soil at the Winter Olympics, one that ended with him shedding a tear as the Canadian national anthem washed over the gold medal ceremony.
Alexander Ovechkin: Same.
Alexander Ovechkin: Despite his gaudy regular season numbers and personal accolades, has been criticized for never scoring that one big goal that would deliver his team a championship.
Jarome Iginla: Doesn't think that's all that big a deal, since the NHL would probably just ignore that goal and give the Cup to the other team anyway.