Upon being traded to the Boston Bruins, the natural question regarding Jaromir Jagr was: how could he possibly coexist with defense-first (second and last) coach Claude Julien? That still remains to be seen, especially since the future Hall of Famer isn’t apologetic about his style.
He explained to CSNNE.com that sometimes you have to take risks to make plays, a philosophy that must turn Julien’s eyes red.
“Sometimes it’s hard for guys that haven’t played top six because they’re not used to making risky plays. But sometimes you have to take risky plays to make some great offensive play,” Jagr said. “But I know they don’t like to do that and they like to play safe. It’s tough to play with me and play safe.”
“I like to take the risky stuff. But the great thing about [Campbell] is that he’s so responsible defensively that me and [Marchand] don’t have to worry about it that much. It worked pretty well in the last game.”
(Go ahead, make a gambling joke. You guys are mean sometimes.)
The 41-year-old icon acknowledged that “the coaches don’t like it” when discussing his approach more than once in that article, but what does Julien think?
He seems pleased.
“He brings more offense,” Julien said. “There’s no doubt it. You see in the offensive zone that he’s strong on the puck and he finds players with great seam passes. Guys are slowly getting used to those because at first I think they were a little surprised it was coming to them. He’s had a great attitude. As you can see he’s very open to the concept of our team and he believes in what we’re doing. That’s very important.”
“He’s been a great addition. It doesn’t matter whatever has been said or not said about him; it doesn’t matter because we’re happy with what we’ve got out of him so far.”
We’ll see if that continues in tonight’s NBC Sports Network game between the Bruins and New Jersey Devils, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Raanta rewards Rangers for starts over Lundqvist by blanking Blackhawks
If someone told you that the New York Rangers started a goalie on back-to-back nights, and that goalie wasn’t Henrik Lundqvist, you’d probably wonder if he was hurt or retired.
Nope. It just so happens that Antti Raanta is playing at an incredibly high level, Alain Vigneault noticed, and that decision paid dividends on Friday night. Raanta won both nights of a back-to-back, allowing a single goal (with the Rangers protecting him, being that he only needed to stop 43 of 44 shots during that span).
Raanta and the Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks with a 1-0 overtime win, at least briefly climbing to first place in the massively competitive Metro Division:
1. Rangers – 39 points in 29 games played
2. Penguins- 37 points in 27 GP
3. Blue Jackets – 36 points in 25 GP
4. Capitals – 35 points in 26 GP
5. Flyers – 35 points in 29 GP
Nick Holden ended up scoring the only goal of the game:
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks lost but at least salvaged a standings point and it seems like Patrick Kane is OK after this injury scare:
Raanta improved to 7-1-0 on the season, allowing two goals or less in all but one of his appearances so far this season. That’s the kind of work you’d expect to see if you’re going sit a guy who’s, you know, a living legend.
Blue Jackets remain in thick of things in Metro on tough night for Red Wings
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.