He didn’t get the game-winning goals record everyone thought he got, but that shouldn’t take away from the huge night Jaromir Jagr had for the New Jersey Devils.
He scored on a breakaway to give them a 2-0 lead in the second. Beyond that, he was great at taking the puck away from the top guys on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos and Martin St Louis were limited to one goal, 0 assists and a combined -4 plus/minus between the two. Jagr stole the puck from St Louis, who was last year’s points leader, when he got his breakaway shot.
Jagr looked like he was in complete control when he took his shot high on goalie Ben Bishop. When many players would try to force a puck in, he calmly waited for Bishop to show his hand. That is what Jagr brings to this team. Of course he can score, but the calm and cool way in which he does it is a sight to see.
His line with Patrik Elias and Andrei Loktionov were the best line on the ice all night. Their forechecking to start the game gave this team confidence that they could play aggressively even with the Lightning’s skill. That is how the Devils will need to win games against high-scoring teams. They got a great game from goalie Martin Brodeur, but somehow Jagr still stood out as the star of the game.
If he can continue this kind of play and the team can continue to forecheck like this, this team can once again be a player in the Eastern Conference. They played a goalie who was on his game and still came out with a win. These last two wins could turn the entire season around. They are currently tied for fourth in the Metropolitan Division and are one point outside of second place.
If the Devils’ top line can continue to produce offense, they could compete with the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins by the end of the year.