Monday, March 19, 2007
Updated: March 21, 1:38 AM ET
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Jaromir Jagr's last-minute goal gave the Rangers a 2-1 win over the Penguins on Monday. For Jagr, it was his 25th goal of the season, making it 16 straight seasons that he's scored at least 25 goals, starting with his rookie season (1990-91). That's gives Jagr sole possession of the NHL record for consecutive 25-goal seasons at any time during a career. Jagr had shared that record with Mike Gartner, who did it in his first 15 seasons, 1979-80 through 1993-94.
• Jagr now has 23 goals in 26 regular-season games against Jocelyn Thibault. That's the most goals by any active NHL player against any active goaltender. Next-most: Sergei Fedorov vs. Ed Belfour (20); Pierre Turgeon vs. Sean Burke (20); Brendan Shanahan vs. Belfour (19).
Jagr's next-highest goal total versus any netminder is 16 vs. Roberto Luongo and Olaf Kolzig. The next-most that any player has scored against Thibault is 16 by Luc Robitaille.
• The Canucks won their sixth game of the season against the Oilers on Monday. That's a Canucks record for most wins in one season against the Oilers and it tied their record for most wins against another Canadian team. The Canucks went 6-1-0 against the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93.
• With their 2-1 loss on Monday, the Oilers are now winless in their last 11 games and they have not scored more than two goals in any of those games. Over the last 30 years, only three other teams have suffered through a streak like that: the 2002-03 Penguins (14 games without a win or scoring more than two goals), 1995-96 Islanders (11) and 1994-95 Blackhawks (11).
• The Hawks' win over the Kings Monday gave them five straight wins at home, their longest winning streak in Atlanta since winning five straight in April 2003. Entering the game, the Hawks were the only team that had not had a five-game home winning streak over the last four seasons (since the start of the 2003-04 campaign).
• The Celtics' loss Monday dropped their winning percentage back under .300, after their St. Patrick's Day win over the Spurs took their winning percentage from .292 to .303. The only other season in which the Celtics had a winning percentage under .300 at some point after the 60-game mark was 1996-97, when Boston finished the season at 15-67 (.183).
• Kobe Bryant's last two games have raised his scoring average to 30 points per game for the first time this season. At 62 games into the season, this is the furthest into a season that any player in NBA history has ever gone before first reaching an average of 30 points per game. The previous high was 49 games by Allen Iverson in 2000-01 and Oscar Robertson in 1963-64.
Shades of Wilt? Late in the 1961-62 season, Wilt Chamberlain needed to score at least 430 points over his final eight games to average 50 points per game for the season. Chamberlain ran off a string of games in which he scored 67, 65, 61 and 100 points, and then coasted to his 50.4 points-per-game season by averaging only 41.5 per game over his final four games of the season!
• Reds manager Jerry Narron said Monday that Ryan Freel will probably start in center field on Opening Day and that if
Ken Griffey Jr. is in the lineup, it will probably be in right field. Griffey has made only two starts outside of center field in his career -- once in left field in 2002 (with Reggie Taylor in center field) and once in right field in 2004 (with Wily Mo Pena in center). The game in 2004 was Griffey's return to the lineup after tearing his hamstring; he reinjured the leg in that game and did not play the field again that season.