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Jagr Passes Messier for Second in All-Time Scoring

Jaromir Jagr (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

Jaromir Jagr (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

Last week, Mark Messier described Jagr’s impending sole possession of second for all-time scoring in the NHL as “anti-climactic” in the sense that this should have happened years ago. Well, Thursday night at the BB & T Center in Sunrise, Florida, in the most anti-climactic fashion, Jaromir Jagr picked up his 1,888th point to jump ahead in all-time scoring.

Michael Matheson received the puck at the point, and fired it on net with Jagr screening Tuuka Rask of the Boston Bruins. The puck deflected off of Jagr’s left leg, but Rask was still able to make the save. A juicy rebound, however, allowed Aleksander Barkov to find twine. The lone Panthers goal in the 3-1 loss to the Bruins was celebrated with a standing ovation and the presentation of a gold replica stick given to the 44-year old Jagr to commemorate the wonderful achievement. The presentation took place immediately following the tally, with just 6:40 remaining on the clock in the third period.

The Bruins scored twice early in the second period with goals from Frank Vatrano and Patrice Bergeron. Torey Krug assisted on both tallies, while Spooner added one for himself on Bergeron’s goal. The commemorative Barkov goal cut the Bruins lead in half. Unfortunately for the Panters, with the net empty, David Backes picked up his eight goal of the season, Brad Marchand assisting on the third and final Bruins goal of the night.

While the sequence of events leading up to Jaromir Jagr’s surpassing of Mark Messier’s scoring totals may have been anti-climactic, Jagr was just doing his job. He was in the right place at the right time. Jagr parked himself in front of the net to put a screen on Rask. This shows, first and foremost, that he’s such a smart player, which is a big part of the reason he is still able to compete at his age. He knows where to position himself at all times to give his team the best chance every shift. Secondly, this shows just how fearless he is. With no hesitation, he headed to area above the crease. As Wayne Gretzky so aptly said, Jagr simply plays the game the right way. I’m sure Jagr would have liked to have scored a goal or made a nice pass for the assist. Either way, his 1,888th point was inevitable.

Sidney Crosby is the most likely candidate to be the first to surpass Jaromir Jagr’s points totals. In just 735 games played, the 29-year old Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain has 975 points already. The problem for Crosby, however, is the baggage he carries from injuries he’s already sustained. A big reason for Jagr’s success and longevity is his ability to remain healthy, even at 44-years old. Crosby is only 29, and has missed large portions of several seasons due to injuries. A couple more big concussions for Crosby, and his career could be over prematurely. Nevertheless, if Crosby can remain healthy, he will be the next likely candidate to move into second place for all-time scoring.

On Friday night, Jaromir Jagr picked up another assist in the Panthers’ 4-3 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Jagr helped dig the puck out on the wall for Aleksander Barkov who seemed to have conveniently lost to puck to fellow Panther, Jason Demers. Demers let a wrister go from the point going bar-down and in. Again, here is another example of Jagr’s smart play as he first protected the puck from a turnover and used his size and strength to get the puck to Barkov.

There doesn’t seem to be any signs of slowing down for Jaromir Jagr. Jagr-Watch might seem like it’s over, but every time Jaromir Jagr suits up for a game and steps onto the ice, we are witnessing hockey history being made. We won’t know exactly when Jagr will decide to hang up the skates. But until then, let us enjoy watching one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL. The NHL is officially on holiday break until Tuesday. Jagr celebrates Christmas with his 1,889th career point.

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Evan is the Hockey Editor for DoubleGSports.com. He provides coverage of the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers, as well as some league-wide content.
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