Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr: Winter Classic is bigger than playing Red Square


Jaromir Jagr is no stranger to playing a big game outside.

While we’re going to see Jagr suiting up for the Flyers during the 2012 Winter Classic, he’s taken a few spins outside while in the KHL as well. Jagr captained one of the teams in the 2009 KHL All-Star Game that was played outside at Red Square in Moscow and while that provided an iconic moment for the Russian league, Jagr says this time it means more.

PHT asked Jagr to compare the two games and, like he’s been since returning to the NHL, he was honest.

“It was different. It was an all star game and it wasn’t good ice. This is going to be different. You know [the KHL game] it was only three thousand people and there were no seats,” Jagr said. “This is going to be special. This is going to be 50,000 people watching you play.”

Downtown Philadelphia better than Moscow? There’s a few people that might disagree with that, but it’s the experience that makes the difference. Of course, that doesn’t change the weather.

“Actually, I don’t like it much because you gotta play outside it’s gonna be cold, but just the fans… So many fans at the game make it special.”

With the way the crowd should be on Monday afternoon, he’s probably not even going to notice how cold it is.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.