Amid the angry reactions regarding Jaromir Jagr’s supposed betrayal of Pittsburgh Penguins fans by signing with Philly, many ignored the fact that he was often booed mercilessly during returns to the Igloo. Surely those same fans must have felt their blood boiling today, as Jagr put on that orange, black and white jersey for the first time.
Jagr is just one of several players who will wear a Flyers uniform for the first time in regular season games next season – especially if youngsters Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier make the squad. The Philadelphia Flyers stand among the NHL’s most radically altered teams, so it’s probably important to note that head coach Peter Laviolette will experiment with line combinations during training camp.
That being said, some might have been surprised to see Jagr skating with what would be the top line to start things out. Here’s what the first day forward lines looked like, via CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.
James van Riemsdyk -Claude Giroux-Jaromir Jagr
Scott Hartnell-Danny Briere-Jakub Voracek (staff had been thinking Jagr there)
Max Talbot-Michael Nylander-Wayne Simmonds
Jody Shelley-Blair Betts-Andreas Nodl
Brayden Schenn by himself
NHL coaches are known for tweaking their lines and Laviolette is no exception. With that in mind, Jagr could bounce around the Flyers’ lineup but before and during the season, especially since it is conceivable that he could work alongside Giroux, Briere or even former Rangers running mate Nylander. Still, Giroux wasn’t shy about expressing his excitement about skating alongside Jagr, a player he once looked up to.
“When I was a kid, I looked up to (Jagr) because he was obviously one of the best young players to ever play,” Giroux said. “So, anytime you have a guy like that on your line, it’s pretty exciting. He’s that kind of player who knows how to score goals and is always in good position to get open. He’s been in the league for a long time, so anytime you have a player like that on your line it’s good. I’ll be playing with JVR too, so I was playing with two strong guys.”
Regardless of his linemates, Jagr will likely be booed heartily in Pittsburgh when he makes his first-ever appearance at Consol Energy Center on December 29 (health permitting). Jagr addressed the many angry Penguins fans who were let down when Jagr ended his flirtation with a return to Pittsburgh by signing with the team’s cross-state and divisional rivals.
Finally, here is footage of Jagr putting on that Flyers jersey for the first time.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.
As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.
PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).
Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.
In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.
Gaborik’s first goal:
And here’s video of the OT-GWG:
Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.
With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.