Continuing on the optimist vs. the pessimist theme, count Jaromir Jagr as somewhere mysteriously in between. It was the Captain, remember, who suggested that it was going to take time for the Rangers to find their groove, and today after practice, he told me he was only partially right.
“It’s going to take a lot longer than I thought it’s going to be,” he said.
The reason why is what everyone’s struggling with, and that would certainly include Jagr. Although clearly in a playful mood, the wing was also honest in trying to find an answer for the Rangers’ poor start.
It was a strange conversation in many ways, but try to follow along.
“The thing is, you give me questions, but to answer your question, I would have to ask you more questions,” he said. “We play bad because a) are we not good enough?; b) a lack of confidence; or c) trying too much. There are so many variables.”
“Which one do you believe?” I asked.
“I believe there’s a lack of confidence right now and we’re pressing too much,” he said.
“And what about A?” I said, referring to his first possibility, that the Rangers aren’t good enough.
“If you come back in a month and ask the same question, I’ll maybe give you an answer. I don’t know how good we are really,” he said. “I believe we are good but we have to start playing good. Unless we start playing good it doesn’t matter right now. We don’t play good and I don’t know what’s the problem.”
This was pretty much the nature of the entire conversation, and perhaps fearful of being misunderstood, Jagr asked if I got the gist of what he was saying.
“I think so,” I said, looking down at my notepad. “You said, ‘Trade me right now,’ right?”
Jagr smiled. “No one would take me,” he said.
In other news: