After letting his broken foot heal, he took the first step on a record-setting journey.
Jay Bouwmeester played that evening, then 736 more times — without a day off.
By the time he stopped — a lower-body injury kept him out of Sunday’s contest in Winnipeg — the Edmonton native had put together the fifth-longest iron man streak in National Hockey League history, plus set the standard for defencemen (which had been held by the late Karlis Skrastins, 495).
“That’s crazy,” said Ladislav Smid. “It’s amazing. He had some good luck, I bet. Obviously, he was doing something right, on and off the ice. I was sad to see that streak end. It’s an amazing accomplishment, I think.”
Part of which the Calgary Flames got to witness first hand — 279 consecutive contests from the slender defender before he was shipped to the St. Louis Blues.
“Incredible streak,” said Mark Giordano. “And Bo, he played through a lot. I don’t think people give him enough credit — banged up, plays a lot of minutes, and he plays through it. You know for him to miss a game, he couldn’t go for sure.
“I don’t think he got enough credit for his passion. Sometimes, he just looks like a guy who can get around the ice so easily (so) it’s easy to say there’s no passion. But he was one of the guys who cared the most about wins and losses.”
Added T.J. Brodie: “That’s a lot of games for a career. For one guy to play that many in a row? That’s just amazing to see … definitely rare.”
Hints: the hardiest fellow missed a large chunk of last winter with a broken ankle, the next chap sat out games with a broken foot, while the third-longest streak belongs to a gent who was sidelined most of the 2013-14 season.
New iron man leader Andrew Cogliano of the Anaheim Ducks has 562 appearances to his name.
“Just the speed and pace of the game compared to what it was 10 years ago is quite different,” said Deryk Engelland. “Guys are bigger, stronger. It’s a game in which guys are going to get hurt.”
Cory Sarich, while a member of the Flames, strung together 453 games — then Mike Keenan healthy-scratched him one night in Phoenix.