Monday, January 2, 2012
Jagr not bothered by Rupp's salute
By Scott Burnside
Jaromir Jagr said he wasn't offended when New York Rangers forward Mike Rupp copied Jagr's trademark salute after Rupp scored the first of two goals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.
"It's fine with me, it's not my signature," Jagr said. "I do it because I was celebrating goals, maybe he does it too. Maybe he's celebrating it like that, I don't know. He doesn't score many goals. That's not against him, I didn't see it, maybe that's the way he celebrates.
"Everybody can do whatever they want."
Earlier in the week, Jagr returned to Pittsburgh where he won two Stanley Cups and scored in a win over the Penguins, performing the salute in front of angry Penguins fans.
Rupp, a former Penguin, initially declined to explain his actions.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
Asked later what he thought about teammate Artem Anisimov's controversial machine gun celebration that was captured on camera by HBO's documentary crew in a recent game against Tampa, Rupp said the machine gun has been "retired."
He insisted he hadn't planned out the salute.
"No pre-thoughts, believe it or not," Rupp said. "I was just kind of excited in the moment."
Rupp mum on interaction with HartnellRupp had some words with Scott Hartnell before the third period but declined to elaborate on what was discussed.
"He just wished me a happy New Year, and I did the same," Rupp said.
"Hopefully, he has a good year and he wished me the same. So it was good. Honestly, I didn't know what he was saying. He was saying something and, obviously, he wasn't happy with something. I don't know."
Briere on opposite sideDanny Briere ended the New York Rangers' season in 2010 when he scored the game-winner in a shootout in Game 82. The Flyers then went on to the Stanley Cup finals.
Given a chance to send Monday's Winter Classic to overtime, Briere was stymied by Henrik Lundqvist on a penalty shot with less than 20 seconds left in regulation.
"All I could think is, this game's going to overtime," Briere said. "I could see it going in, that's all I was thinking about. Unfortunately, he made the save. I tried to surprise him with a quick little shot, but he's also one of the best in shootouts and on breakaways in the league. He made the save. It's disappointing, it's frustrating. I take full credit for this one.
"Even though this was a big game and a game we wanted badly, this is not what we're playing for, this is not our first goal."