New Jersey Devils' Marek Zidlicky (2), of the Czech Republic, is congratulated by teammates Stephen Gionta (11), Travis Zajac (19) and Jaromir Jagr (68), also of the Czech Republic, after scored the winning goal in overtime to defeat the Florida Panthers 2-1 an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Jagr: I’ll play until 70 to beat Gretzky

22 Comments

When Jaromir Jagr tied Mario Lemieux in career points on Tuesday, he wasn’t happy. His team had lost in overtime to Philadelphia and his concerns about the mistakes they had been making took precedence over his personal accomplishment.

The Devils won last night as he claimed sole possession of seventh place in the NHL’s all-time points list, so naturally he was in a much better mood.

The 41-year-old forward suggested that he would play until 70 to make up the 1,133 point gap that remains between him and Wayne Gretzky.

“Hey, I can do it,” Jagr told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “If somebody can do it, I can do it.”

Obviously he was joking, but the kernel of truth is that Jagr isn’t looking to retire anytime soon. He previously said that this wouldn’t be his last year of hockey “as long as I don’t die” and added that he would simply play somewhere else if he couldn’t find work in the NHL beyond the 2013-14 campaign.

Given that he has 13 goals, 36 points, and a team-leading plus-13 rating in 46 games, it seems reasonable to assume he’ll be pursued if he decides to test the free agent waters this summer.

And while Gretzky isn’t a realistic goal, he might end up surpassing Steve Yzerman, Marcel Dionne, and Ron Francis before he hangs up his skates.

Uh oh, Marian Hossa might be injured after awkward fall

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa, left, talks to center Jonathan Toews during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP
Leave a comment

The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

Video isn’t yet available, but My Regular Face’s GIF captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
Leave a comment

If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

1 Comment

It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

Report: Wild will tab John Torchetti as interim head coach

torchettiiowa
via Iowa Wild
2 Comments

As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

(He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)

The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.

Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.

As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.

More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.

That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.

(Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)