Blog Entry

Not in his house

Posted on: May 1, 2008 11:31 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2008 12:12 am

If this was in fact Jaromir Jagr's last game as a New York Ranger, it really was as special as he wanted it to be.

The Rangers 3-0 whitewash of the Penguins helped of course because it kept the team from being swept out of the second round of the playoffs. And on its own merits, the win was inspiring for New York by showing the Rangers they can still beat Pittsburgh with their best game.

New York won the season series between the teams and had enough chances to win each of the first three games, but whenever there was a pivotal moment, it was the Penguins best players who found a way to step up instead of those on the Rangers. Except for Jagr, who on an individual level has done everything for the Rangers that Crosby, Malkin et al. have done for Pittsburgh in this series, just without the end results.

So when Jagr dropped board hints after the Game 3 loss that the next game could be his swan song on Broadway, the "funny feeling" he had about a New York comeback in the series seemed either wishful or deluded. But either way, the Rangers captain sounded intent on willing it to happen, and he started the long shot process with one of those Madison Square Garden performances for the ages.

It still might be too late.

 Talk about the 04 Red Sox. the 75 Islanders or the 42 Maple Leafs all you want, but there's a reason winning a series when you're down 3-0 almost never happens. It's tough.  But not impossible and Jagr made sure the Rangers still have a chance.

"He's a driven man right now," Rangers coach Tom Renney. "And for all the right reasons."

Jagr scored two of the goals and assisted on the other, and basically took over the ice on every shift. And he never missed one either, even when he ran into a brick wall named Brooks Orpik and had to be helped from the ice after scoring the game's first goal.

Jagr  paid the price for going to the front of the net on that one, which proved to be the winner and set the tone for the desperate Rangers. But New York's biggest goal came from Brandon Dubinsky on a play Jagr created from behind the net. 44 seconds into the second period.  It was New York's first power play goal in 16 tries, which removed the proverbial monkey from their backs and gave the Rangers the breathing room to effectively contain Pittsburgh.

It wasn't easy though, even if the Rangers were playing outstanding team defense. The Penguins had fewer odd-man rushes than in previous games and didn't get to the net as easily, but they still put enough pressure on to stay in the game to the end. Pittsburgh just couldn't solve Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who made 29 saves -- several of the remarkable variety -- and even turned back Malkin on a second period penalty shot.

Lundqvist was arguably more critical to his victory on an individual level than Jagr, who clinched it with an empty netter. But the goalie's effort would not have mattered had Jagr lifted the team onto  his shoulders.

Jagr made this game special. Just like he wanted.

Category: NHL

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2008 4:28 pm

Not in his house

Could not disagree more on the Malkin play.  Why would Malkin dive?  It is obvious that he had a breakaway so, what would be the incentive to take a dive?  To draw a penalty?  Why not score a goal instead?  He was going in on the goalie full speed and got shoved from behind.  I suspect that, if I was as fast as Malking and was at full speed and got shoved from behind, I would look like I got shot too. 

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2008 2:38 pm

Not in his house

I was shocked Malkin didn't get called for diving rather than a penalty shot. Girardi touched him with his hand on his hip and Malkin goes flying like Girardi just shot him.

It was a joke.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2008 1:09 pm

Not in his house

I think Lundquist got some credit since he was voted number one star of the game

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2008 10:02 am

Not in his house


I agree Malkin probably scored. They didn't do a great job explaining the "interference" part of it. My guess is that it's probably similar to the to the whole diving/tripping thing where you can be tripped and still called for diving. I didn't see the play in Game 1 so I don't know how different they were.

As for Jagr, you seem to bring up in posts that goals somehow get "washed out" if the other team scores a goal. Um, they don't. They still count. Jagr played a strong game, and has played a strong series. His goal wouldn't have been washed out by the Malkin goal. By your logic, a guy who scores a hat trick but watches his team lose 4-3 didn't have a good game because the goals are "washed out"?

A lot of times, journalists have an idea of what they want to write ahead of time and look for storylines to fit around it. In this case, the biggest story surrounding the Rangers is that, if they lose, Jagr may very well be gone. Being that he--along with Lundqvist--are the faces of the franchise, it's understandable that the focus is on him.  

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2008 8:50 am

Not in his house

Your right, Lundqvist was the star of last nights game not Jagr. He made some spectacular saves that could have change the outcome of the game. He should be given the credit not Jagr.

Even though the Penguins lost, I'm still pleased with their performance. I'm confident they have this series in the bag.

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: May 2, 2008 7:44 am

Not in his house

Jagr didn't will his way to anything. Lundqvist won them the game last night. The Pens had 8 shots and 8 scoring chances in the 1st period last night. They had great opportunities, but Lundqvist shut the door time and time again. And wow he scored on a Powerplay into an Empty net with the Keeper pulled - big deal. His assist to Dubinsky wasn't anything special either. Brandon Dubinsky made that play himself (and a beautiful play at that). Did you see him push off with his ass to create enough space for the quick turn and shot. That was a beautiful goal that I think tricked everyone but Dubinsky. Jagr's only goal should have been washed out by Malkin's breakaway goal that was a goal.

The Refs explaination was that the puck did go in before the net was off the moorings, but Malkin ran into the Lundqvist not allowing him to make the save. Well, Malkin was pushed into the keeper (and if he wasn't why was a penalty shot awarded?)

Just like Jagr laying on top of Fleury in game 3 when Straka banked one in. It was not goalie interference because Jagr was pushed into Fleury and the puck went in before the net was off the moorings. Same situation why was the call made differently?

Pens tie that up 1-1 right there and we would have had a whole different game.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or