Jaromir Jagr

Heel turn: Flyers sign Jaromir Jagr to a one year deal worth $3.3 million

26 Comments

Jaromir Jagr is back in the NHL and he’ll be playing his home games in the state of Pennsylvania once again, but not in Pittsburgh. The Flyers and GM Paul Holmgren locked up Jagr to a one-year deal to join the team. After an overactive last week that saw the Flyers deal off star centers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, it’ll be a future Hall of Famer in Jagr that comes in to try and help bring the Flyers to the Stanley Cup.

The wild part about Jagr’s deal is that it’s worth $3.3 million for the year. After being away from the NHL for the past three years playing in the KHL with Avangard Omsk, Jagr decided it was time to come back to North America and make a run at the Cup once again. After being courted heavily by Pittsburgh and Detroit only to see them pull back their offers before free agency got under way this afternoon, Jagr was left to sort through a reported host of other offers.

Jagr won’t be the dynamic superstar that he was while he played with the Penguins in the 1990s but with the depth the Flyers have, he’ll be able to make his place on the power play and be able to pick his moments playing with the likes of Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere. Jagr at this point in his career is a purely offensive player and playing under coach Peter Laviolette he’ll get the freedom to do what he has to do to score.

Seeing Jagr in Flyers orange and black will be a stunning sight and given how things went in negotiations with the Penguins, all Flyers-Pens games are going to be must-see games. Making things all the more interesting is that the Flyers will be taking part in the Winter Classic and that means being on HBO’s 24/7. You’ll probably want to be dialed in for when the Flyers make their first appearance in Pittsburgh on December 29. We’ll just set the DVR right now for that one.

Backes scores OT goal on his birthday, Blues even up series with Stars

1 Comment

The St. Louis Blues won’t be thrilled with the way they played in the third period, but in the end, they did just enough to come away with a 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars in Game 2. The Blues’ win means that the series will head to St. Louis tied 1-1.

The Stars opened the scoring in the first period, but the Blues responded by scoring three unanswered goals (Patrik Berglund, Joel Edmundson, Troy Brouwer) on five shots. Stars coach Lindy Ruff had seen enough from starter Kari Lehtonen at that point. He yanked Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi at the start of the second period.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period, but things got crazy in the third.

With his team still trailing 3-1, Mattias Janmark split Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko before scoring a great goal.

Moments after Janmark’s goal, Brian Elliott took a Jason Spezza blast off the mask. Elliott was shaken up on the play (he even lost one of his contact lenses), but he did stay in the game.

Stars captain Jamie Benn (surprise, surprise) leveled the score by burying a goal by Brian Elliott with under three minutes in regulation.

Like they did during their first round series against Chicago, the Blues took some time to regroup before finding a way to get the job done.

The Blues’ power play went back to work after Antoine Roussel took his third penalty of the game. That’s when the birthday boy, David Backes, came through.

That’s a nice way to celebrate your 32nd birthday.

Game 3 goes Tuesday night in St. Louis.

 

Jamie Benn’s late goal sends Game 2 to overtime

2 Comments

This definitely wasn’t the way the St. Louis Blues drew it up.

The Blues entered the third period of Game 2 with a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to shut the game down on the road.

St. Louis jumped ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes before Dallas decided to pull Kari Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi. The move didn’t provide any results in the middle frame, but something certainly sparked the Stars in the third period.

Mattias Janmark cut the deficit to 3-2 with this beauty (notice how he split Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo).

With less than three minutes remaining in regulation, Stars captain Jamie Benn tied it up (top).

It’s safe to say this wasn’t a memorable third period for the Blues.

Video: Brian Elliott takes a blast off the mask, stays in the game

Leave a comment

A bit of a scary moment in the third period of Game 2 between the Stars and Blues.

Less than five minutes into the third period, Jason Spezza took a shot that caught Blues goalie Brian Elliott square in the mask. Play was halted as Elliott remained down. It appears as though the shot to the mask also made Elliott lose one of his contacts.

Thankfully, Elliott wasn’t seriously injured on the play. After being examined by the team doctor, he was allowed to stay into the game. He did need a new mask though (he got his original one back a few minutes later).

You can watch the play by clicking the video at the top of the page.

The Blues currently lead 3-2 late in the third period.

Here’s some Twitter reaction:

 

Lehtonen only lasts one period in Game 2

Lehtonen
2 Comments

Kari Lehtonen might have been more hit than miss in the playoffs going into today’s action, but Game 2 against St. Louis was certainly a start he’d like to forget.

Dallas outshot St. Louis 10-5 in the first frame, but the Blues still managed to take a 3-1 lead. Antti Niemi replaced Lehtonen for the second period which means, barring another goalie change, Lehtonen will actually end up with a sub-.500 save percentage this afternoon.

The numbers obviously look bad and it’s hard not to blame Lehtonen in the face of that, but the Blues deserve a lot of the credit for those goals. Patrik Berglund had a great shot on goal for the first marker, Joel Edmundson‘s first career playoff goal came after a nice setup by Troy Brouwer, and when Brouwer collected his own goal it was off of a rebound during a power play.

So to an extent, you could say Lehtonen looked bad due to circumstances that were very unfavorable to him. Nevertheless, the Stars needed to shake things up after what was unquestionably a bad period for them.