UPDATE, 3 p.m.: In hindsight, I suppose it was a bad sign when he was wearing a yellow jersey in practice today, but the Rangers just sent Jarkko Immonen back to Hartford after scratching the center for the last five games. I wish I had more insight into the rationale behind it, but this took place after practice, when we all left the Training Center. I would suspect this might mean the team wants to call up a wing in case Jaromir Jagr can’t play tomorrow
Needless to say, it makes for a curious dynamic when you spend most of your day speculating about a grown man’s mid-section. Thankfully, there were clothes involved, but that was the case with Jaromir Jagr today.
Long after the rest of the Rangers left the ice, and even after No. 68, backup goaltender Kevin Weekes, and assistant coach Perry Pearn had been on the ice for nearly an extra hour so that the team’s captain could test out his hip (and contrary to earlier reports, it is a hip flexor and not a groin injury that Jagr is contending with) we are still no closer to knowing whether the team’s leading scorer is going to play tomorrow against the Islanders.
The 34-year-old Jagr said he felt fine during a series of shooting drills—including those wearing a resistance belt—but that he won’t know for sure until he tests in simulated game action tomorrow at the morning skate. Meanwhile, if you’re thinking that the whole scene was a bit melodramatic, you’d be right. There’s no question that Jagr hurt himself, and that the reason he didn’t want to play the third period against the Canadiens is because he thought he’d be a liability against a speedy opponent. For that I can actually commend him. But something tells me that if Blair Betts’ right leg fell off during practice today, it wouldn’t draw as much attention as what is likely a slight muscle pull for the future Hall of Famer.
One other thing: apparently Jagr had been dealing with the hip flexor a few games ago, but it went away. And while Jagr said he wasn’t sure, Tom Renney figured he’ll have his captain in the lineup tomorrow.
In other news:
OK, more later…