Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Jagr to hit playoff milestone tonight
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- When the puck drops on Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at TD Garden, it will mark the 200th career playoff game for Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr.
The 41-year-old future Hall of Famer has played for six teams -- Pittsburgh, Washington, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Dallas and Boston -- during his NHL career and with the exception of the Stars (only played half of this season with Dallas), each of those teams have reached the postseason. Plus, he won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Penguins.
“That’s pretty impressive,” said Bruins assistant captain Chris Kelly. “It shows, not only his regular-season numbers, it shows that he’s played consistently in the postseason -- a lot in the postseason. I don’t know where that ranks all-time but I’m sure it’s pretty high.”
Jagr will become the 19th player in NHL history to reach 200 career playoff games. Chris Chelios is the all-time leader with 266 with Montreal, Chicago and Detroit.
What’s also impressive is the fact Jagr did not play in the NHL for three seasons while he played in the KHL (2008-11).
“I’m sure that number would have been higher and it’s an impressive number,” Kelly said. “He still loves the game, which is the most important thing. You lose that love for the game, that passion and it becomes, I don’t want to say a ‘job’ but you don’t enjoy coming to the rink every day. He’s got a smile on his face every day, which is nice to see.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien has been frequently asked this postseason about Jagr’s contributions since he arrived in Boston at the trade deadline.
“Everybody in that dressing room knows what he’s done in his career,” Julien said. “Everybody in that dressing room sees what he does now. We talk about a guy that goes the extra mile to stay in great shape. When everybody else has gone home, he’s still at the rink, doing extra, because he knows himself, he knows what he needs to do to keep up with the game. He’s a great example for younger players to look at.”