BOSTON – So much for Jaromir Jagr being so slow that he needs to take a backseat during the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 41-year-old -- so snakenbitten that he was ringing shots off posts -- was scoreless in four straight playoff games prior to Monday night. But he threaded a beauty of a cross-ice pass to Patrice Bergeron on a second-period power play that found the two-way center wide open in front in the Bruins' 2-0 win in Game 3, and served as a reminder of what the future Hall of Famer brings to the Black and Gold power play.
The Bergeron helper also helped Jagr vault past former Pittsburgh teammate Paul Coffey for fifth place all time in the NHL with 197 career playoff points. He has eight assists in 19 playoff games for the Black and Gold, and just enough production for the big NHL trade deadline acquisition nestled into the Boston lineup.
“It was a great pass,” said Bergeron. “I was expecting the puck to come. It was a perfect play. I had to kind of settle it down a bit because it was a hard pass. It was a great pass. I just had to put it in.”
It also served as a reminder that Jagr is way too accomplished to possibly worry about the fact he’s gone 19 playoff games without a goal thus far this postseason. At least the eccentric right winger has a good sense of humor about it.
“See, when you hit 30, then 40, you got to be cooled down at some point,” said Jagr, who is in an even-keeled kind of place. “That’s the age. No high, no lows. I learned that’s the best way to do it, emotionally always. If you’re too high or too low, it’s kind of stopping you anyways. You have to be same all the time, no matter what happens.”
The classic sign of a confident elite player like Jagr is the fact that he’ll continue to bomb away with scoring chances even though he’s been denied by goalies, posts and pure dumb bad puck luck.
“People are trying to make it important whether I score or don’t score, but I don’t have to score goals," he said. "I know it would make it easier for the hockey team to win, but it’s not happening. Every time I touch something right now it’s not guaranteed. I feel like I am cursed, or something.
“I may not be that fast anymore, but I can still make the plays. I still have the hands, and I still have my eyes. I can still see.”
So the odds are good the veteran winger will find a way to finally snap out of his offensive funk, and find that elusive first playoff goal as a member of the Boston Bruins.