Jagr salute; Bruins blank Devils
The Jaromir Jagr era in Boston has officially begun and fortunately for the Bruins it has gotten off on the right foot. Jagr was acquired on Tuesday from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne and a draft pick.
Jagr made his debut on Thursday night and lined up alongside Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin as the Bruins looked for their third straight win.
Jagr saw 19:12 of ice time including playing the full two minutes on the Bruins lone power play of the evening, but Jagr’s biggest moment of the night came 1:20 into the second stanza.
With the Bruins racing up ice and the puck on the stick of Marchand, the pesky forward sent the puck towards the net where Jagr was crashing. The puck deflected off Jagr’s skate and through the five-hole of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. The goal was the lone goal of the game and was Jagr’s 15th of the season which pushed Jagr past Marchand for the team lead in goals.
“Sometimes you have to be lucky to score, and I think that’s the first time I scored with my leg I guess” said Jagr. “When I was 25, I wouldn’t have liked that goal, but at 41 I’ll take anything right now.”
Jagr—who is famous for a salute of his own after goals—was saluted by the Bruins fans quite often on Thursday, and the future Hall-of-Famer appreciated it.
“I appreciate it. I didn’t know the fans love hockey so much here in Boston, and it’s a little bit different than playing in Dallas, that’s for sure. I don’t want to say anything about Dallas. They were great, but this is a different level” added Jagr.
Jagr seemed to fit in pretty well with his two young, talented line-mates as the trio had chances to put the puck in the net all night. To no surprise, both Seguin and Marchand enjoyed getting the chance to play on the same line as Jagr.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool to watch” said Seguin.
“You see him going to the corners or the side of the rink, and he really puts out his arm or get his big butt in there, I guess. He’s a pretty strong boy, so we see that happening, Marsh [Brad Marchand] and I are trying to get there for him as quick as possible, and with more chemistry we should pick up all of those pucks.”
Bruins head coach Claude Julien was pleased with his new forward.
“He was good. I think he did a great job for a guy that just arrived yesterday and didn’t really practice with us much. He played his game and his goal was something that we like to see, and it’s called net drive. It doesn’t have to be a highlight goal, but he was heading to the net and he wasn’t going to get pushed to the side, and it went off his skate and in” said Julien.
“So, that’s a good example for the rest of the younger guys on the team to take from a guy who’s still doing it at that age.”
Not to be overlooked was the play of Tuukka Rask. No. 40 made 40 saves for his third shutout of the season. Rask was huge for the Bruins tonight and did a great job keeping a desperate Devils team from scoring.
“I felt comfortable” said Rask. “I think a couple of extra days of work with the goalie coach [Bob Essensa], helped. I felt comfortable. I felt like my angles were pretty good and just one of those nights you get a couple of good bounces too and I’ll take it.”
The shutout was Rask’s 14th of his career. Rask is now 4-0-0 when making 40 or more saves, three of those four wins have been shutouts.
There is your crazy stat of the night.
The Bruins return to action Saturday night when they travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens in a battle for first place in the Northeast Division, again.
Here is Jagr in the Bruins locker room after the win.