He stepped in front of his stall wearing the famous Army Ranger Jacket after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jaromir Jagr ended his six-game pointless streak by adding two assists in the Bruins 6-1 beat down of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jagr’s efforts were recognized by his teammates on Monday night and that is why he was donning the jacket.
Although he didn’t salute the crowd that once cheered him with a passion, he helped the Black and Gold secure a 2-0 series lead heading back to Boston after there was some speculation that he may be dropped to the third-line or even a healthy scratch.
There is no question Jagr is having a tougher time in the playoffs than more recent years, but he is trying to contribute in any way he can.
“Of course, we’d like to tell you that we’re happy, but we understand that to win the series, you need four wins,” Jagr said.
Since Jagr came to Boston, it has always been about the “team”. It was never about him achieving greatness or trying to break records. He understands the Black and Gold are about “team” hockey.
“I’ve never been on a team that rolls four lines like this,” Jagr said. “All can play and produce at this level especially in the playoffs is huge.”
He bought into Claude Julien’s system and is starting to turn a corner if Game 2 was any indication, but admits he would like to get on the score sheet soon.
“I would rather not score and still be playing,” Jagr said. “It’s been a long time though, maybe too long.”
Just because Jagr doesn’t show up in the score sheet does not mean he is not creating opportunities for his line mates. Jagr creates more space than any Bruin leading to scoring chances for Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand as you saw tonight.
He plays well into the B’s cycle game and he can battle with anyone along the boards.
Jagr has only six assists in 14 playoff games for the B’s while not lighting the lamp once, but he knows he can help the team in other ways.
Jagr will fit into the B’s game-plan whether it is slowing the game down or being physical. He knows that.
“We’ve got a lot of big guys on the team who can play physical, who can cycle the puck and be strong on the boards,” Jagr. “I don’t mind that at all. It’s always my game, even when I scored more goals.”
Jagr’s two assists in Game 2 versus Pittsburgh were his first points since his four assists in one of the greatest comebacks in NHL playoff history. It was a great sign to see Monday night in Pittsburgh.
Let’s just hope Jagr can bring the same poise Wednesday night as the B’s look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in Boston at TD Garden.