James O'Brien

Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) reacts after a play during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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Jaromir Jagr joins select group with first goal at age 44

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Tired of hearing about Jaromir Jagr making history or hitting milestones that are obscure or impressive (or both)? Well, you might want to sit the next months/couple years out, then. He keeps climbing the ranks.

In Thursday’s case, it leaned a little toward the obscure, although it’s still really cool.

Jagr scored his first goal at age 44 on Thursday, becoming only the fourth NHL player to accomplish such a feat. He joined luminaries Gordie Howe, Chris Chelios and Doug Harvey with this tally:

He’s in a strong position to score the most goals at 44 years old (and maybe beyond), too, by the way:

Want a less age-specific take? With his 740th career goal, Jagr is just one tally short of tying Brett Hull for third all-time:

In other words, don’t be surprised if Jagr hits an even bigger milestone in the near future, health permitting.

Note: The San Jose Sharks ended up beating Jagr’s Florida Panthers 2-1 via a shootout.

Torchetti passes: Wild win third in a row under new coach

Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) reaches for the loose puck during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Yes, the Minnesota Wild still find themselves outside of the Western Conference playoff picture.

And, yes, it’s easy to poke holes in three straight wins when you put them in a context of beating some rather vulnerable opponents.

Quibbles like those don’t really matter that much, at least not right now. Not when the Wild are 3-for-3 under John Torchetti, acing a three-game road trip after Thursday’s 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

They made a little bit of history, too, and not the “overly specific and kind of meaningless” sort of stuff:

That’s pretty cool, if not maybe a minor indictment on the franchise’s longer reputation as a defense-first (second and third) outfit.

That refreshed feeling might be almost as important as the on-ice improvements:

(And so on.)

Those quotes are quite an improvement from the “Not much else to say …”-type depressing reactions Wild players were providing toward the last days of the Mike Yeo era.

The schedule really has been conducive to a hot start for Torchetti, though. The real test starts this weekend, as they face the Blackhawks on Sunday, the Islanders on Tuesday, the scrappy Flyers on Thursday and then finish the month with games against the Capitals and Panthers.

In other words, this is promising for the Wild, but check back to see if everyone’s as excited when March begins.

Two big Stralman hits, one irate (and ejected) Jets coach

Winnipeg Jets' head coach Paul Maurice talks to his players during NHL training camp, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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You don’t see head coaches ejected from NHL games very often. Then again, you don’t see players deliver two controversial hits in the same shift like Anton Stralman did, either.

Winnipeg Jets bench boss Paul Maurice was the guy who got that rare misconduct for a coach following Stralman’s two big hits.

He explained his passionate responses after the game – as well as his concern regarding a possible injury for Winnipeg forward Bryan Little – as you can see in the two tweets below:

Here are two videos that capture the moment(s), via Sportsnet, CBS’ Eye on Hockey and the Hockey Beat:

That sequence was probably the most memorable moment of that game, but it certainly wasn’t the only dramatic one. The Jets stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to make a game of this one, yet the Tampa Bay Lightning ultimately won 6-5 via a shootout.

Video: Clifford delivers huge hit on Tarasenko, fights Bortuzzo

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This seven-game road trip might be rough on the Los Angeles Kings, but they can dish it out too.

Kyle Clifford delivered an enormous hit on St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko and immediately answered for that check by fighting Roberto Bortuzzo.

You can see that wild scene in the video above.

At the moment, it seems like Tarasenko is OK, but we’ll see.

Was that a dirty hit or just hard, clean one?

Williams is still clutch, Ovechkin keeps scoring and Caps win again

Washington Capitals right wing Justin Williams (14) and left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrate with their teammates after Williams scored a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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When you dominate as regularly as the Washington Capitals have been dominating in 2015-16, the storylines almost seem to blend together after a while.

Take, for instance, Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders:

  • The Capitals won, for one thing, 3-2 in overtime. They’ve won 42 games while no other team has even hit 40 yet.
  • Get this: Justin Williams remains clutch, scoring the overtime-winner.
  • The other goals? Why, they came from goal-machine Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin scored his two tallies in 87 seconds, by the way:

Not exactly yawn-inducing stuff. Instead, it’s more like hockey “Groundhog Day,” and Capitals fans will gladly watch that movie.