Back when the mullet was still cool

71

I touched a little on this in a story for tomorrow’s paper, but it’s worth mentioning again:

While it certainly shouldn’t be a surprise that Jaromir Jagr gets booed in Pittsbugh — his tenure there didn’t necessarily end well — it is unfortunate given the role that franchise has had in his career. And it’s also unfortunate given Jagr’s clear reverence for the Penguins’ patron saint, Mario Lemieux.

mariojagr1.jpg

As he usually does, Jagr spoke glowingly of Lemieux today. And when asked to compare Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to Lemieux, Jagr deferred to his mentor.

“I don’t think they’re better than him and I say that with all respect to them because the game has changed,” Jagr said. “The thing is, the gap between the best players and the worst players on a team is small compared to what it was.

“The gap between Mario and the rest of the guys when I was Pittsburgh was huge. He was able to score 20 points in one playoff series. I don’t think those kids are able to do that. Maybe I’m wrong and if I’m wrong I’m going to apologize and tell them, ‘Great job.’ But that’s the difference between the 90s and the teams I played on and today.

“He was able to win hockey games by himself. I remember some games we won 6-5 and he scored six points. The next game we won 5-3 and he scored give points. But the league has changed. You can do it once in a while, but not every night like him.”

Some other updates on a rare night without hockey:

<li>A number of you have contacted me about tickets for the Rangers games in Prague next fall (not under the impression that I might have any, but that I might know how to get them).

The latest update from the Rangers is basically there is no update. The promoters in Prague are still working out the details, and when tickets do go on sale, the majority of them will be for the general public — although there certainly will be some set aside for various groups and VIPs.

When I have more information, I’ll be sure to pass it along.

<li>Colton Orr is healthy and available to the Rangers on Friday night according to Tom Renney.

As for whether Renney uses him, that’s another story. There are a couple of considerations: One is the extent to which Renney will uses his fourth line. If he uses it in a shut-down role against Sidney Crosby, which he did during the regular season, he then has to consider whether Orr is better suited for that role than Ryan Hollweg (I don’t see Fred Sjostrom coming out – or at least he shouldn’t in my opinion). Hollweg is a better skater, but Orr keeps things simpler.

Of course, Orr also hasn’t played for close to a month, which could be a deterrent. I remember last year Renney plugged Karel Rachunek back into the line-up against Buffalo after missing the first round with a knee injury, and it was a disaster.

The last consideration is what the Pens have in store for George Laraque. If this were the regular season, a heavyweight like Laraque playing for the opponent would mean Orr has to play for the Rangers. This year at least it hasn’t even been debatable.

The playoffs are different. I don’t know how much you need your enforcer in the line-up in games when teams are very reluctant to spend any time in the box. So if that’s the only purpose Orr would serve, it doesn’t seem worth it.

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71 Comments

  1. I forgot to mention something about NBC earlier. I think it was very smart for them to only broadcast one game each week because it must have been much more cost-effective for them, and the difference in viewership is probably negligible. I do wish that they would either go longer through more of the season or throw some games on Sunday to give them two games per weekend, but at different times with different announcers, so they will clear a similar profit. I liked Michelleti last season between the benches with the second announcing team.

  2. Spiderpig
    April 23rd, 2008 at 6:53 pm
    Staal Wart – Gonchar, Sydor, and Gill on the backline and Dupuis (two seasons) all have past experience, as well, and Laraque, if he matters.

    LOL I posted that right before I left work and just reading it now I realized I only listed offensemen, my bad, and thanks for finishing the post off LOL

  3. Orr needs to play…because you do not want Ruutu taking runs at Jagr. Laraque is irrelevant.

  4. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    Hey there crew, can any one tell me what the heck happen to the Wolfpack. Wow!! I can’t believe the bombed, they were having a great season??? And you can’t find (at least I couldn’t) any kind of write ups on line, as to how Portland a lower seeded club pretty much swept them. That sucks it would be good to get those boys in some playoff hockey experience.

  5. Orr has been skating for the last two weeks so I think he should be able to come in and if so I think he should play. Orr instead of Hollweg. He has really advanced as a skater.

  6. You know I understand that Jagr left Pittsburg and it was bad (I assume money was involved I don’t know) but Jagr is always so respectful of Mario you think he would say hey fans this guy did a lot for you have you forgotten everything? I hate the way they boo him all the time.

  7. I mean I met Ryan Symth on a LIRR train when he was on the Islanders and an Isle fans tarted talking trash about Jagr and Symth told him ot shut up . . that Jagr was one of the greatest players and that he had no right to talk that way about him. Thats Symth who never played with Jagr and doesn’t know him or anything. Dunno I would just think that he is so respectful of Mario maybe Mario should show some respect for his Jr.

  8. Hey Sam,

    Now that Hartford is out of the AHL playoffs are any players being called up to practice with the team? There is no limit on roster size for the playoffs right? Just curious…

  9. Agra & Jo – You two gals are creative and artistic….For Rangers Home Game 1 @ MSG,,,,can you make up a sign either from oaktag or cloth that says – CRYBABY in big letters and then under that #87,,,,,make the number 8 by drawing or painting two tear drops on top of each other, and make the number 7 by drawing or painting two boxes of tissues and then put the Kleenex logo on that….then bring it down or give it to someone going to game to display it during Pens warm up….that would be kewl.

  10. I think Pittsburgh fans boo him in part cause they loved him and he wanted to walk away. When he is done with hockey and they retire his number, they will show him how much they love him. It’s great to hear Jagr talk about Mario and how much respect he shows him.
    Jagr’s mullet will always be cool by the way. ;)

  11. re the wolfpack go to blueshirtbulletin.com. he has links to the hartford courant and to a blog howlings. you can scroll through last week to read about them.

  12. Sam, I’m sorry, but I just disagree with this post and the post before it. I’ll start chronologically:

    1) How could you possibly think the NHL had a NY-Pittsburgh match up at the top of it’s wish list!? They wanted a Pittsburgh-Washington matchup! Crosby vs. Ovechkin! It would be by far the most marketable series the NHL could see, and would actually bring in the casual sports fan to watch it, and then see the game’s premier offensive talents on display against each other. Pittsburgh-NY is a distant second. I’m shocked that as a reporter you could possibly think NY-Pittsburgh is a better matchup for publicity. For shame.

    2) I disagree with your assessment about not slotting in Colton Orr even if it is only for deterrence. If anything, it is MOST important to have him their for that reason. If Brashear obliterates Jagr, Drury, or Gomez, or anybody for that matter, think about the implications it will have over the length of the series. 5 minutes in the box and a game misconduct would be well worth it if Any of our players get knocked out. You need the threat of retaliation to protect our star players. They have more to lose on the star front, and so that would serve to protect ours.

    To everyone else (and you too Sam), my beard and that of the Nasty 1 are still growing strong. I don’t know about Nasty 1, but my beard is starting to get really itchy. Click my name in order to check out the pictures.

  13. Doodie – *Brashear?* You may be thinking of the wrong black guy.

    I can’t understand why this series didn’t start tonight, like last season. I guess it’s because they wanted to air the Red Wings nationally, as well, and they couldn’t do that if the Red Wings and Rangers played on the same night.

    Canada must be really upset about Calgary and Ottawa being knocked out, to join Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto on the sidelines, and only having Montreal left in the playoffs.

  14. Chris F. – Every game is televised nationally in the U.S. except game one of Canadiens-Flyers and game three of Sharks-Stars. The weekend Rangers and Red Wings games are on NBC; everything else is on Versus, but for soem reason, all of the possible game sevens don’t have an American network listed, which scares me, unless NBC is planning to pick up a game or two. It’s very strange, though.

  15. I also am curious about any Hartford call ups, anyone have some names please share.

    thanks….

  16. The most important part about that _Post_ article about Brodeur eing tired that was linked earlier is that Rachunek won’t be back with the Devils. Awwwwwww.

  17. Hey Liquid aren’t you going to the first home game? I could ask Ag about making a sign and we can give it to you . . .or someone else I’m sure we will find somebody who wants it. Although I think you overestimate our artistic ability.
    As for Pittsburg booing I guess thats it. I don’t remeber who said it (I think it was a baseball layer) but he said he loved playing in NY because when he got booed i NY he knew he made it. He said that the booing meant you were good and it was almost like a sign of respect.
    I think the mullet is funny!

    Good job on the beards guys! Your doing better than some of the Rangers.

  18. Orr and Hollweg should both sit. If they want a true 4th line that’s going to go up against Crosby they should play Strudwick on the 4th line. He has better defensive skills than both Orr and Hollweg.

  19. Pig – Re: series start dates. MTL has to play on HNIC on sat night. They couldn’t start rnd 2 with back to back games. NBC airs games on Sunday’s, and it’s much more beneficial from a ratings perspective to have two U.S. teams play on NBC. I know that bounces around a bit, but I’m sure you follow. I picked up that info around the blogs the last day or two.

    What else? Nothing. There’s nothing else going on and it sucks. I need to see a Ranger game soon or I’m going to fall ill. I’m already tired of looking at the matchups. By this time both sides of the fan-bases should know exactly what they’re facing. We can just hope that no one takes a spill in practice and everyone injests plenty of vitamin C.

    ok, let’s start this boooooring day of ‘work’.

  20. Hey LIQUID,

    Are we going to go over camera stuff on Tues? I’d say meet in front of Cosby’s at 6:30 (becuase Jo and I would be riding the playoff buses(yes both times) to try and win tickets.

    However 6:30 means you might miss the warmups… other then that we could give the poster to you, and you could hold it up during stoppages in play… then just passs it on to someone near you who is going to game two…

  21. Rob L.
    Strudwick is way to slow to skate and keep up with the likes of Cindy and Co. Hollwegg has good speed but plays stupid and out of position. Orr plays smart, does not get goaded into penalties, he’s not the fastest guy but out of the 3 of them I think Orr is the best player…and BTW I would want to see Hollwegg or Struds drop the gloves with the likes of Laraque…

  22. and BTW I would want to see Hollwegg or Struds drop the gloves with the likes of Laraque…

    should be…

    and BTW I would NOT want to see Hollwegg or Struds drop the gloves with the likes of Laraque…

  23. The only thing I don’t like on that petition is that it mentions ‘why is it a problem in 2008′. It’s been addressed in the past, quite a few times actually. Must be a young fan.

  24. Hmmm . . I’ve never heard of it being a problem either? I mean I’m sure animal activists aren’t happy but they never are happy.

  25. Nothing really ever comes form these petitions, its just a way to show disapproval of Bettman’s mettling… and I really do want to see them throw an octopus one day, I wonder how in heck they get them in. I was in Nashville v Detroit and they threw like three or four catfish… and the security guards were looking for them, so I can’t imagine sneaking in an octopus… the catfish I figured a brave fellow could stuff under his shirt or something, and then be really smelly, but the octopus… all squirmy and with no bones and such… yeeewwww

  26. I think it was back around 2000. They were threatening the Wings with a delay of game call if there were any octopi thrown on the ice. It started to become a ‘problem’ when people were throwing these mammoth ‘pi on the ice.

  27. It’s been years since Jagr left Pitts. and to be booed every time he is back in the city is classless. Pitts. fans should grow up and get over it. Ranger fans should boo Cindy at MSG every time he touches the puck. I know that they won’t because 1) They have ne reason to do so 2) Rangers fans have more class.

    I wonder how Bettman would react to Cindy being booed on national TV?

  28. Beer, when did they address it, I vaguely remember something, (could be wrong) but either way Bettman is just starting to cross the line, sure marketing and trying to get new fans with Cindy commercials and outdoor games is one thing but changing the traditions that make certain teams “extra special” is out of line I had to sign the petition regardless.
    Think about it…its like bringing all teams to the same level. If I was a NHL quality defenseman, in the image of a Brian Leetch, LOL, I’d only want to play for an original six team…Think of the Traditions and feel of playing in Boston with a history that includes Bobby Orr, or playing in Chicago with Esposito, or Detroit where they happen to throw Octopussies ummm…oop’s is that how you say that.
    Anyway its part of what makes certain teams great. And Bettman wants complete control even down to removing traditions, like fighting or octo-whatever throwing.

  29. Doodie, the beard is looking good my brother. I have been trimming the neck though. That is where it gets itchy for me. When it rubs against the collar it is just no good.

  30. I don’t remember details about it, but I know for a fact it has been addressed in the past. I love the tradition, and signed the petition. I wouldn’t say it was getting ‘out of hand’ back in the day. But there were times that it took several minutes to clear the ice. Just like the rats for Mellanby in FLA. THAT was shortly after the 1st time the nhl tried to cut down on the octo’s in det too. I guess it was one of those things that the nhl actually tried to be proactive about. They just don’t know how to pick their battles very well.

    “It’s been years since Jagr left Pitts. and to be booed every time he is back in the city is classless.”

    uhhhh….. Potvin anyone? Let them booo. Who cares?

  31. hey madcat,
    You say Pitt fans are class-less for Booing Jagr and then say Ranger fans have more class but should boo Cindy.
    I say who cares, its the playoffs ;)
    If JJ gets booed we return the favor in our building, this will also ensure we never see Cindy in a Rangers uniform, cause he’ll hate NY

  32. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers

    This may not be the dream matchup of Crosby versus Ovechkin had the Capitals advanced but it will arguably be the marquee series of the conference semifinals.

    The Penguins finished second overall in the conference and first in the Atlantic Division over the Rangers, but it’s the latter with the edge in the regular season series 5-3.

    Led by young stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins swept the Ottawa Senators in the conference quarterfinals while the Rangers defeated their arch-rival New Jersey Devils in five games.

    The Pens utilized their swift offensive attack, improved defense and the goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury to eliminate the Senators, but they’re facing a much tougher opponent in the Rangers.

    In eliminating the Devils, the Rangers were a balanced team, combining lethal offensive talent with a strong defensive system. They’ve got a great mix of veteran talent and promising youth, and have superior goaltending in Vezina candidate Henrik Lundqvist.

    This should prove to be a very entertaining series but in the end, the depth, experience and balance of the Rangers roster should win out.

    Prediction: Rangers in six

  33. nasty – thanks for the earlier link. And the last article. Finally seeing some picks go the Rangers way. And that they’re voicing similiar opinions to mine. That the pens haven’t been tested.

    NYR has only lost 3 of their last 30 in regulation(incl playoffs). That’s F’n impressive.

  34. I just like the fact that some people are looking at this without a bias. People goo their shorts over Sid the Kid. If they win, hats off to them, but I really believe that we have a team that can win the Stanley Cup. Don’t get me wrong, the Pens could very well have a dynasty on their hands in the near future, but not yet. I am sticking to Rangers in 6.

  35. And I will go one step further and say this, minus Jagr(the way he is playing now), I give this series to the Pens in 5.

  36. stuart
    April 24th, 2008 at 12:09 am
    I also am curious about any Hartford call ups, anyone have some names please share.

    thanks….

    Hey Stuart,
    I just looked up the playoff stats, maybe Andrew Hutchinson as well as P.A. Parenteau could be some candidates if we need to callup

  37. And that is not taking away from the rest of the team, but I just feel that Jagr is HUGE for us right now.

  38. I say if Avery has another effective series, we can sign him at 3.5 with incentives. How does that sound to everyone?

  39. Like how many times we score a power play goal off of a penalty he draws vs. how many times the other team scores on us on a penalty he takes. If we score more than they do on us he makes a certain dollar amount. Can that be in a players contract?

  40. does anyone love the fact that everyoneis pretty much just writing off our Rangers for this series?
    Even PItts, there too confident and that’s gonna be there downfall.
    If there’s one thing about our team this year, its the ability to grind out the wins.
    Cindy and Lurch won’t be seeing the next round
    Rangers in 6!
    Is it Friday already!

    And Beer me, I hadnt realized that stat 3 losees in 30 games. Ranger Blue holiodng Stanley’s Silver in June!!!

  41. Nasty – I don’t know exactly what incentives a player under 35 is eligble for.

    Salty – I’ve been having the debate with my bro for a week now. At this point, I’d be hesitant to say that 18goals/35pts is worth $4mil. $4mil/1year(next year)…totally. $16m/4 years….nope. I’d like to see the guy play to his absolute potential first, then pay him for it. Rather than pay him for what he MAY be capable of. But then again, I’m nowhere near a gambling man.

  42. I don’t always look at the numbers on a player like Avery though. He brings much more to the team. His “antics” and I think he has the rest of the team playing in a more confident way.

  43. Even the people who HATE him think the rangers have to some how sign him. I think that speaks volumes.

  44. Yeah the Rangers have been battling! They don’t like to lose and the Rangers have been really strong in third periods which is awesome!
    I think if Avery has another series like last (and not like against Buffalo) than . . . well try 3 mill.
    I hope their overconfidence back fires. The Rangers were to confident going into Buffalo and were caught flat footed. This time the Rangers are ready.

  45. id say more like 3 million with incentives. where else is he going to get that $$$?

  46. “You know I understand that Jagr left Pittsburg and it was bad (I assume money was involved I don’t know) but Jagr is always so respectful of Mario you think he would say hey fans this guy did a lot for you have you forgotten everything? I hate the way they boo him all the time.”

    First off Jagr got traded to a team he didn’t want to go to. This all had to do with their coach, a fellow Czech (can’t remember his name) that expected him to do way too much. So Jagr and him didn’t get along. Then the media was trying to make Jagr sound like he was making negative comments towards Mario when that was not the case.

    Also, there was an issue with money but originally Jagr said he would stay for less and then the whole fallout with the coach and the media happened. He asked to be traded to the Rangers, a deal I think was close to being done until at the last second Patrick traded him to Washington where he was miserable for 2 1/2 years. Finally when the Caps were disappointed with Jagr’s play and he got a chance to go to the Rangers, the Caps made the deal and now Jagr is the happiest he’s been in years. Pretty much Jagr gets booed because he is the scapegoat for poor management of all those years and the fans don’t know the true story behind why he left.

  47. Oh I think the problem with his coach was when Jagr first hurt his groin and had hip flexor problems in 2001 and the coach said he wasn’t tough and should play through it or something like that. Jagr never had a real serious injury before that but played through the minor ones he had and the fact that his toughness was being called out did not sit very well with him. I’m pretty sure thats what happened and why him and the coach didn’t get along.

  48. “Pretty much Jagr gets booed because he is the scapegoat for poor management of all those years and the fans don’t know the true story behind why he left.”

    100% correct. This is such a pet peeve for me and is why arrogant Pens fans annoy me to no end. They jumped on the coach-criticism bandwagon when Jagr got hurt and didn’t win his next consecutive scoring title :0 Then they started crying when Lemieux came back because Jagr was wearing the C and not Mario (oh what a shame that was). They have no clue what or why they are booing. Their boos will sound like a sweet symphony once they get eliminated from the playoffs.

    They may as well scream “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH I HATE CUPS I WISH MY FRANCHISE WAS IN CANADA OR SOME OTHER STATE WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” as they boo one of the greatest players of all time.

  49. I second this statement….“Pretty much Jagr gets booed because he is the scapegoat for poor management of all those years and the fans don’t know the true story behind why he left.” Great mullet picture too!! If anyone wants to continue any Ranger related talk join me here: http://iamaranger.rangers.nhl.com/RobotNature

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