By most standards, Jaromir Jagr’s start to the season has been a positive one. He’s registered three points in four games while playing 15:10 a night alongside two of Philadelphia’s youngest, brightest stars — 22-year-old James van Riemsdyk (1G-2A-3PTS) and 23-year-old Claude Giroux (3G-2A-5PTS).
Jagr’s 39 and currently the NHL’s fourth-oldest player. Most 39-year-olds would be pleased with that.
Of course, Jaromir Jagr isn’t most 39-year-olds.
Today, CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio wrote a piece entitled “Jagr’s Game Still a Work in Progress.” In it, several things come to light: Jagr’s still figuring out how JVR and Giroux play, he’s adjusting to the smaller NHL ice after spending three years on the larger European sheets, he feels he’s burning too much energy in the neutral zone and — get this — Jaromir Jagr says he’s not a good goal scorer.
Yeah. The same guy who, over a six-season stretch from 1995-2001, put up goal totals of 62, 47, 35, 44, 42 and 52 says he’s not a goal scorer.
“At my age , it doesn’t matter if I score. If the team wins and the lines score, that makes me happy. We got scoring chances. But it comes in cycles.”
Jagr was playing with reporters about “not being a goal scorer.”
“I like to play one-on-one on the boards,” he smiled.
You scored 62 goals once, he was told.
“Yeah, but I was good back then,” Jagr laughed. “If I had been a good goal scorer, I would have had 80. Trust me.”
I’d like to steadfastly disagree with Jagr’s assessment by entering the following into evidence:
That is all.
Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.
Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?
Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see above.
This continues a red-hot streak for Malkin. Tonight’s goal and assist (and counting?) stretches his scoring streak to four games, each with at least one goal.
Malkin came into Tuesday with 10 points in his last six games as well, so … yeah, no. 71 is feeling it right now.
You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”
Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.
Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.
Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?
As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).
Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.
Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.
It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.
When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.
The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.
Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.
Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.
If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.
Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.
(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)
You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …
… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.
Update: Did Hamilton picture all the negative headlines and harness that energy for a greater good? He scored the game-tying goal as Calgary upset Dallas 4-3 via a shootout.