Even though the New Jersey Devils came back and surprised the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, Jaromir Jagr is feeling the pressure to perform better.
Jagr is tied for the team lead in points with nine (with Marek Zidlicky) but has just two goals. Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger shares the future Hall of Famer’s take of his own play that centers around his apparently poor equipment.
“I have to start scoring,” Jagr said. “I don’t score as many goals as I would like to or have as many chances. It might have something to do with my sticks. I had to change my sticks this year. The company I (got) my sticks from went into bankruptcy. It’s not easy when you’re 41 to change all of a sudden. The game is so quick, a little difference and you lose the puck.”
They always say a good craftsman never blames his tools, but after scoring 683 career goals we can give Jagr a little bit of leeway here. Besides, after helping spark the Devils comeback with two assists against Boston maybe he’s found a new career as a set-up man.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.