At age 40, Jaromir Jagr still knows where the back of the net is -- especially in overtime.
Jagr scored his NHL-record 17th overtime goal when he connected 1:46 into the extra period Wednesday night to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers.
Jagr picked up the rebound of Jamie Benn's shot in the corner to the left of Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk. He curled his way around defenseman Ryan Whitney, moved into the lower right circle and ripped a low wrister past Dubnyk's glove for his third goal of the season -- and the 668th of his career, tying him with Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille for 10th on the all-time goal-scoring list.
"I tried to beat the guy 1-on-1 and shot it right away," he said. "I still have to get used to it -- the European rink is big and you have so much time. Here it is totally different, you have to shoot it right away."
Jagr's performance -- he also made a brilliant play to set up Jamie Benn's second-period goal -- left both the Stars and Oilers impressed.
"He's still lethal when he has the puck," Dallas rookie Cody Eakin said. "That was a tough shot to stop -- it was a perfect shot."
Dallas tied it at 13:24 on a goal by Benn, who took a feed in the left circle from Jagr and whisked a shot off the skate of Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry and past Dubnyk. It was Benn's third of the season, all in the past two games, and ninth in 11 career games against Edmonton.
Jagr made the play by controlling the puck and finding Benn all alone.
"That play to Benn on the first goal -- the guys on the bench were in awe," coach Glen Gulutzan said of Jagr's feed. "He's still surprising the way he can dominate."
Jagr, who scored the overtime winner in Edmonton last week, made it 3-1 by rifling a wrist shot past Dubnyk with 4:35 remaining for his 669th career goal, moving him past Luc Robitaille into 10th place on the all-time list. Garbutt got the second of his career with 2:43 to play.
JS© wrote:Jagr recycling equipment from his Rangers days?
Tomas wrote:I just discovered two awesome videos featuring vintage Jagr:
' He has no muscles, nothing. He has hands like a chick, breasts like a chick - really no strongman at all.
Brenden Dillon’s interest was piqued.
As Jaromir Jagr and Tomas Vincour worked late in a recent road practice, Dillon watched the two forwards swing around a tight triangle of cones, moving their feet quickly while trying to negotiate the sharp turns.
So, Dillon skated over and stood in line. He took his own try at the small course, and flew out wide on his first try. The second try was better, the third even better, until he started to negotiate the simple course.
It was a brief moment in a seemingly normal practice at a foreign rink somewhere along the road of a 48-game season, but it could be a symbol of what Jagr means to the Stars.
He just turned 41, he’s not going to add a sixth NHL scoring title to his résumé any time soon, and he might not even make the playoffs this year. But he will have an impact on this team, possibly for years.
“I think any time you can follow a guy like that, it’s a smart move,” said Dillon, 22, who has been joined by fellow youngsters Cody Eakin and Reilly Smith in other drills. “I don’t think there are too many bad habits he’s going to have. Me and Eakin and Smitty watch him and talk about how good a pro he is. He’s doing these things every day, and look at the results he’s getting.”
Jagr’s dedication to training is legendary. He lives in a hotel near the Stars practice facility in Frisco and has a key to the rink. He has already held one midnight workout with Vincour, a fellow Czech, and he could plan more as the schedule loosens up.
However, the volume and intensity of his work is equaled only by the diversity. He puts a barbell weight on the blade of his stick and moves it back and forth while building strength in his wrists and forearms.
He sets himself in his sneakers on a steady floor and asks strength and conditioning coach Brad Jellis to move him. (“Jelly’s a big guy, and I don’t think I’ve seen him move Jags yet,” coach Glen Gulutzan said).
He sets up small triangle drills and skates in tight patterns.
“It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that,” Dillon said of the footwork drill. “The thing that’s interesting is he isn’t a small guy, but he was able to get in and out very quickly. And we as defensemen, we see him working the corners and we see him turn on a dime, and that’s a perfect example of how he takes a drill and transfers it to the game. All you had to do is watch that once, and you knew what he was going for. He’s probably been doing it for 20 years.”
And that is the genius of Jagr, who has quickly become a pied piper of sorts with his unique workout techniques.
“It seems to be working for him, so I might as well jump in,” said Jamie Benn, who has joined in several workouts. “Everything he does, he does it for a reason, so yeah, it’s not that hard to follow.”
Jagr shrugged when asked about how he came up with the drills and training regimen.
“I’ve played for 30 years almost,” he said with a smile. “I should have learned something.”
Jagr is almost always smiling. He has fun with hockey and doesn’t want to quit any time soon. Last week on his birthday, he was asked about retirement. He said he would play as long as he could in the NHL and then probably keep going in his native Czech Republic.
He compares his relationship with the game to a marriage.
“Would you have imagined you’re going to stay with your wife that long?” Jagr said. “Well, you love her. You’re going to stay with her as long as you can. If you don’t, there’s no reason to be with her. It’s the same thing with hockey for me. I just love the game.”
And because he loves the game, he spends a lot of time on it. He is playing for the first time in the Western Conference, he is living on his own in a new town, and he dedicates most of his waking hours to hockey.
Some are concerned he will burn himself out, but he said it’s only a 48-game season and, “I’d rather feel tired and strong than fresh and weak.”
And as for his ability to find new drills or look at things in different ways, he has some pretty interesting insight there, as well.
“You always have to look for the edge, or you don’t have a chance to succeed in the NHL … or anywhere,” he said. “You always have to be two steps ahead of anybody else. It’s like the Apple. They have Apple 4, but they already have Apple 7 in their office.”
Again, the smile and the laughter. He really does have fun with this, but those who watch know he is deadly serious. They too want the “Apple 7.” They too want every advantage they can get.
“Y’know, it’s like guys trying out new sticks,” Gulutzan said. “If some guy starts scoring with graphite, the other guys are going to go, ‘Let me see that.’ So when you see the body of work with Jaromir and you see he’s doing certain things, then other players are going to say, ‘Maybe I should do those things.’”
And maybe those players will do those things long after Jagr is gone.
Maybe his time in Dallas lasts only 48 games. Maybe he is merely a footnote in a star-studded franchise history that includes Hall of Famers such as Brett Hull, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour. But maybe the impression he leaves lasts much longer in the games of players such as Benn, Dillon and Eakin.
“No question, no question,” Gulutzan said, agreeing with the premise. “He’s already had that kind of impact.”
Stars winger Jaromir Jagr just turned 41, but his unique take on training methods is spreading throughout the team. Here are three things he likes to do that teammates have followed:
Weighted stick: Jagr takes a barbell weight and places it on the blade of his stick, then works the stick back and forth to build strength in his wrists and forearms. Player reaction: “My wrists hurt after a minute, so I’m sure it works.” — defenseman Brenden Dillon.
Jump drills: Jagr participates in traditional jumping drills after a game when he has the time. Often, he goes from one end of a hallway to another jumping from one foot to the next. The drill builds leg strength. Player reaction: “A lot of the stuff he does, we have done in the off-season but we think it’s too intense for the season. But he does it anyway, and he’s played for 20 years and he’s still going strong, so it does make you think twice about how you’ve been doing things.” — captain Brenden Morrow.
Midnight practice: Jagr has his own key to the practice facility in Frisco and brings teammates in for midnight workouts every now and then. The practices are referred to as Jagr Hockey School. Player reaction: “Yeah, I’m not sure I’m going to be a part of that. I think midnight is a good time for sleep.” — center Jamie Benn.
t’s the fact that all 30 of them are crammed into one boardroom two weeks before the trade deadline.
The Flyers are likely not considering any foundation-shaking trades - such as moving a key, young piece - before the April 3 deadline, but a minor move may be in order.
One name which has been circulating through the rumor mill is Jaromir Jagr.
Could the Flyers possibly target re-acquiring Jagr from Dallas?
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk is in a tough spot. The Stars (13-12-3) awoke in 11th place on Wednesday, but they’re only a point back of a playoff spot. The problem is that even 14th place Calgary is just four points back of one, too. There’s a logjam between 8th and 14th - and the Stars need to decide where they fall.
Most teams would be interested in Brenden Morrow and Derek Roy, two potential unrestricted free agents in July. Jagr, though, may be able to help a playoff-bound team just as much as a rental.
Jagr, now 41, has 18 points in 27 games. He’s cooled considerably, going without a point in four straight. Dallas loves what Jagr has provided in their young, impressionable locker room - particularly with burgeoning All-Star Jamie Benn.
His situation is not all that different. Jagr plays alongside Benn, who could be like Claude Giroux, and he’s mentoring another young Czech player in Tomas Vincour, like he did with Jake Voracek.
He has enjoyed Dallas - his first stop in the Western Conference during his Hall of Fame career - and is living in a hotel near the Stars’ practice facility in Frisco, Texas.
On his 41st birthday, Jagr was asked if he was considering retirement. He answered by saying he’d continue to play as long as he could in the NHL, equating his love of the game to marriage.
“Would you have imagined you’re going to stay with your wife that long?” Jagr told the Dallas Morning News. “Well, you love her. You’re going to stay with her as long as you can. If you don’t, there’s no reason to be with her. It’s the same thing with hockey for me. I just love the game.”
Jagr will consider re-signing there, but wants to wait and see in the summer - much like he did with the Flyers before jetting to Dallas for $4.5 million.
Jagr’s goal has always been to win the Stanley Cup. This year, Dallas is not the place to do that.
Knowing that he may eventually lose a non-commital Jagr in free agency for nothing, Nieuwendyk needs to decide whether its in the Stars’ best interest to get a draft pick in return before the deadline.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Dallas is “undecided” on what to do with Jagr, and that it likely depends on the quality of the offers Nieuwendyk receives.
If you’re Paul Holmgren, is sending a third round pick (which could essentially end up being a late second rounder depending on where the Flyers finish) worth seeing if Jagr is exactly what the Flyers are missing?
For my money, Jagr changes everything about the way Giroux plays the game. Jagr is able to win battles along the boards, hang onto the puck and find the open man. He is strong and commands respect from defenses, even at his advanced age.
Plus, Jagr has no baggage, and is already comfortable in Philadelphia and with Giroux.
For a third round pick, if that’s the price, it’s worth experimenting whether Jagr can get the Flyers over the hump and into the playoffs. Especially for a team which has dangled draft picks like candy over the years.
NashvilleCat wrote:If Jagr turned out to be the piece this team is missing to go all the way I could get past his history. I just don't think he's what we need to go the distance.
Grinders and a physical defenseman would seem to be a higher priority to me.
jwest21 wrote:If the Flyers are counting on a 40 year old to solve their problems, they are going to be dissapointed. Current-form Jagr is something you bolster a playoff team with, not someone you count on to save your season
Here’s what I would do: check the standings April 1 and make your call 48 hours before the deadline. If you’re within two points of eighth, you keep Jagr and try to move Roy and Morrow.
Jagr has been a popular addition both in the room and in the marketplace in Dallas, so why not let him finish the season and even see if he wants to re-sign after the season.
Morrow, a terrific captain over the years and a player oozing with character, won't stay in Dallas, I don’t think. His role has been diminished this season, and it’s probably time to make Jamie Benn captain next season. But you’re also very respectful of what Morrow has accomplished for your franchise. Because of his no-trade clause, you let Morrow steer the ship here. Does he want to go win a Cup on a contender? Boston, perhaps? Find him a soft landing spot and let him have fun this spring.
Contract talks with Roy haven’t gone anywhere over the past month. You can’t blame Roy for seeing what Anaheim paid Ryan Getzlaf and realizing that, as a UFA scoring center in a weak UFA market, your price just went up. So if I’m Nieuwendyk, I trade him. Obviously you try to land a first-round pick in a deep draft. Short of that, a second-rounder plus a prospect.
Then hope Jagr, Benn & Co. can still get into the spring dance, where anything can happen when you’ve got Lehtonen playing goal like he is this year.
pcm wrote:Will Jagr supplant Mario amongst all-time scoring leaders? Kinda crazy, but I've got to say yes. He's scoring still at .75 pts per game, and he's only 48 pts back from Lemieux's #7 position. If he plays 2 more seasons plus gets into the playoffs with a decent team, he could even break into the top 5 all time.
Trivia for the day: Who is currently the third all-time scoring leader among active players, after Jagr, Selanne.... ?
André wrote:pcm wrote:Will Jagr supplant Mario amongst all-time scoring leaders? Kinda crazy, but I've got to say yes. He's scoring still at .75 pts per game, and he's only 48 pts back from Lemieux's #7 position. If he plays 2 more seasons plus gets into the playoffs with a decent team, he could even break into the top 5 all time.
Trivia for the day: Who is currently the third all-time scoring leader among active players, after Jagr, Selanne.... ?
Say he would've scored 60 points a year those three years in Russia. He could've challenged for the 2nd spot all time behind Gretzky.
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