Jagr: The Right Move

Jaromir Jagr skates during a Bruins practice during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.

Jaromir Jagr skates during a Bruins practice during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.

During the Eastern Conference Finals the question was who was the better pick up at the trade deadline; Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins, or the Jaromir Jagr to the Boston Bruins. And though it seemed that the Penguins fared better with Iginla who had 4 goals and 8 assists going into the series, Jagr has proved to be a great fit in Boston. He has 10 assists in the playoffs and though he hasn’t netted any goals, the future hall-of-famer has proven through his play that he fits well with the team he’s on as he continues to play well through the Stanley Cup Finals, something Iginla isn’t doing with the Penguins.

But as we all know Boston fans aren’t too keen on big name players not producing on any team. So, even though he’s getting the assists and putting in a lot of work, people now comment on some of his abilities, like his lightning fast speed (cough, cough) and some of his decision making. Some even comment on his lack of physicality. So, the new question in some fans’ minds is, was Jagr worth it? The answer is simple, yes, but the explanation takes a little more time. 

Having a guy like Jaromir Jagr, an NHL legend, in the locker room is a real treat for a lot of the young guys on the team. David Krejci gets the opportunity to play with his childhood idol and fellow countryman, who sings high praises of the Hulk Line formed by Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic. It’s a type of verteranship that really helps young players get a hold of their game as well as give them some confidence. When Jaromir Jagr tells you you’re doing things right, you’re doing things right.
Not only does his words of encouragement and wisdom give the guys more confidence, his work ethic is something everyone can learn from. Jagr is on the ice every night, on nights off or after games, with a weighted vest and a weight on his stick. He’s always working to improve his game. Even at his age he realizes that things can always be perfected. And that’s something that guys really can feed off of.

Let’s go back the good ol’ days for the 41 year old winger. Jagr came into the league in 1990-1991 and scored 27 goals and got 30 assists through 80 regular season games as the 5th overall pick in the draft. In the playoffs he scored 3 goals and got 10 assists that same year. Since then he’s had 8 seasons in the NHL with 30+ goals, three seasons with 40+ goals, two seasons with 50+ goals, and one season where he scored 62 goals and got 87 assists along with them. This makes his career totals pretty impressive. He’s played in 1,391 regular season games, netting 681 goals and 1,007 assists. He’s played in 199 playoff games, getting 78 goals an 119 assists. Pretty impressive if you asked me.

Jagr and Bergeron celebrate one of the three goals they have shared during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jagr and Bergeron celebrate one of the three goals they have shared during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jagr is currently playing on the second line with center Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on left wing.  He started on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverly, but the second line needed some offensive help and Julien thought Jagr could be the answer. Since then Bergeron and Jagr have meshed extremely well, as Jagr has a hand in the last three goals scored by number 37 in the Stanley Cup Finals. Through his ability to maintain puck control in the offensive zone, he allows his linemates to elevate their game, as well as the entire Bruins powerplay. Jagr’s ability to see the ice and create offensive chances has become a huge help on the man advantage, something the Bruins haven’t been able to get going in a very long time. The powerplay still isn’t incredible, but they manged to score 2 PP goals in last night’s Game Four. Along with his vision of the ice, he also has some of the best hands in the NHL and is constantly showing his ability through perfectly placed passes for teammates to pick up for scoring chances.

In an interview after one of the Stanley Cup Finals games, reporters asked Jagr how he felt about his scoring drought. He came back with the fact that he’s scored plenty of goals in his career and he’s just happy to contribute in any way he can. He’s just happy to be a part of this team. And it shows. Jagr’s game has never been one of speed or physicality. He plays a flashy and finesse game with quick, soft hands and a scoring touch to match. However, since he’s been in Boston, you can really see how he’s managed to transform his game to do the little things Claude Julien expects from everyone. Of course he still tries to let his 20 year old self shine through, but it’s not about him scoring goals, it’s about the team winning games and being the number one priority. He goes in the corners to battle for pucks. He’ll take a hit to make a play and he’ll get in the middle of an argument to be there for his teammates without batting an eyelash. And that’s what being a Boston Bruin is all about.

So no,  Jagr may not be the fastest guy for the Bruins or the one scoring all the goals, but he’s in Boston now and he’s proven that he’ll be a Bruin until the end, (of the 2013 season anyways) win or lose. Jaromir Jagr was the right move for the Boston Bruins and still has a lot to give and I couldn’t be happier as a Bruins fan to see him finally wear the right black and gold.

(But really Jagr, can I have a salute in a Bruins uniform, pretty please?)

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Correction on Prospect Contracts

 

Malcom Subban with another 2012 Bruins draft pick, Brian Ferlin, at 2012 Bruins Development Camp over the summer. (Photo Credit: Flickr/slidingsideways)

In my post earlier today about prospects, I made a comment about the eligibility of OHL prospects joining the Providence Bruins. The rules are that if a player has played in juniors, he cannot play in the AHL until the season he turns 20 before December 31, but he can go to the NHL anytime. He can go to the AHL when his junior team is finished for the season. Of course, he has to have a contract with the team that drafted him to go to their AHL or NHL team at all.

I commented that Malcom Subban, who was drafted by the Bruins 24th overall in the 1st round of 2012, would not be eligible to join the Providence Bruins when his OHL team is eliminated from the playoffs because he doesn’t have a contract with the Boston Bruins. This was incorrect – he does indeed have a contract with the Bruins that he signed before the lockout.

To go a bit further into the scenario of Subban joining either the NHL or AHL — since he doesn’t turn 20 until December of next season (2013-14), he would be eligible to join the AHL then. Players on entry-level contracts can play a certain number of NHL games before burning the first year on that contract (ELC are 3 years), but they can play any number of games in the AHL without using up the NHL ELC. Subban could, in theory, join the Providence Bruins when and if his OHL team’s playoff run ends this season, and he could also join full-time next season.

If Anton Khudobin goes elsewhere to be a starting goaltender, Niklas Svedberg will likely be Tuukka Rask‘s backup next season, which would open the slot for Subban to develop further in the AHL. Khudobin is an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of this season, and Rask is a Restricted Free Agent.

One final note on contracts – a team can only have up to 50 total contracts at a team. The Bruins are currently at that limit (roster players + non-roster players – buyouts = total). In the AHL, they can easily sign someone to a Professional Tryout Contract and have him play in games if someone is needed, but in the NHL they aren’t allowed to actually play if they’re on a tryout (see Jay Pandolfo earlier this season before he signed his actual contract). The Providence Bruins also have players signed to their team that are not signed with Boston (Bobby Robins and Kyle MacKinnon to name my 2 favorites that I wish were signed by Boston), so obviously they could never be called up to Boston.

That’s about the extent of my contract knowledge. I hope I didn’t get anything else wrong or confuse anyone too much. Please feel free to correct me on anything and everything.

Patrice Bergeron Provoked By Slewfooting Skinner

Patrice Bergeron (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

Generally Patrice Bergeron is a really calm, cool and collected hockey player. However, last night Jeff Skinner found a way to get under his skin and cause him to retaliate. What you have to understand is this, Bergeron has only one previous fighting major in his career since entering the league in 2005. The reasoning behind his provocation? a high hit from Josh Gorges at the Garden in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Bergeron only gets physical when he feels targeted. So, the play that is being questioned and scrutinized is this:

Skinner appeared to extend his leg to cause Bergeron to fall.  With the play behind the Bruins net, Skinner had already committed the offense, the play was nowhere near wither player. Because of this Bergeron confronted the young Carolina superstar.

When the Bruins were questioned about it after the fact, both Marchand and Bergeron noted that Skinner is known for his ‘slewfooting’ though he had never done it to them. “It was the first time he did it (to me), but I thought it was uncalled for,” Bergeron said. “The puck wasn’t even close.”

Brad Marchand, who was fined for slewfooting Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen last season, stated:

“If you continue to do that to guys, you’re going to get it. Bergy had just had enough. It was good for Bergy to stand up for himself like that.” (via MilfordDailyNews)

 

So readers, you’ve seen the footage, what do you think, was the collision intentional caused by a slewfoot from Skinner or did they both cross paths at the same time and happen to fall down and go boom, taking Seidenberg with them?

A Baby Looch Was Born!

Happy parents Brittany and Looch! (Credit: Flickr/Slidingsideways)

Milan Lucic as we all know represents the Boston Bruins with the number 17. Yesterday, on January 17th, Looch was notably absent from practice at Ristuccia. But he has a pretty good excuse.

We here at A Cup A Bruin would like to congratulate Looch and his wife Brittany on the birth of their baby girl Valentina! She was born yesterday at 5:31 weighing 8 lbs 1 oz.

Today Looch is back on the ice while the rest of the team participates in an off ice practice.

On Baby Valentina, Looch said that it was “meant to be” that she was born on the 17th (Via @NHLBRUINS). He also said that mother Brittany and baby are healthy and doing well.

Hope Baby Looch is going to be able to rock these like her parents!

 

 

Jack Edwards BINGO!

In the event of the Boston Bruins season opener all Bruins fans must be throwing a party and what would a party be without Jack Edwards BINGO!! This idea originates from a Flyers fan, but it’s a really cool idea so I figured I would share it with all of our readers. The rules of Bingo are quite simple.  You have a bingo board and you have a marker.  The marker can be anything you want it to be, spare change, pieces of lint off of your sock, anything. So, with your board and your markers of choice you wait for your “numbers” or in this case, your Jack Edwards sayings and mark them off until you have the established pattern of boxes marked off. (see below)

In the event of a new season, we thought it would be fun to present you with the boards to play and as the season goes on, we want to interact with you guys (and gals), our readers. So, if you want to participate in Jack Edwards Bingo, simply print off the following boards that we have made for you, courtesy of Catie, and play along every game.  If you get bingo, TWEET us and we’ll keep a running tab of every person who gets Bingo throughout the game. At the end we will announce who our overall winner is and establish a prize.

Goals: (we will establish which one before each game via our Twitter account)

  • First to get any line (up, down, left, right, diagonally)
  • First to get the four corners
  • First to get two diagonal lines through the middle (an “X”)
  • First to get all squares

Guest Instructions:

  • Check off events on your card as they occur
  • If you complete a goal, tweet us “Bingo!”
  • At the end of every game we will tally who got the most “Bingo!”s and notify the winner
  • Have fun!

Download Jack Edwards Bingo Cards

*All slogans courtesy of Catie,  you can find her on Twitter (@catiekat3715) just beware, she is a Flyers fan.

New Years Resolutions:Boston Bruins

So long 2012 (Photo Credit: blackandwhitegold.com)

The end of 2011 left us as Boston Bruins fans spoiled. The Bruins had just won the Stanley Cup, despite a slow and rocky start they turned their season completely around in November/December and went into the playoff run with our heads held high.  We were ‘golden.’ We began 2012 on a high note that carried us into the playoffs yet again.  Unfortunately, the dream was cut short as Joel Ward ended the Bruins playoff stint and sent the B’s into an early summer vacation. However, with each downfall and crap moment that the past season has brought there comes a solution.  
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Santa Claude and the Night Before Christmas

Santa Claude (Credit:Bruins Twitter)

Happy Holidays from all of us at A Cup Of Bruin. In the midst of the NHL lockout, we were trying to figure out a way to bring the holiday cheer to Boston Bruins fans and it’s safe to say we found it with this video.

Coach Claude Julien as we all know can be quite the “grinch” on the bench yelling at the referee’s when they’re not exactly making calls in favor of our beloved B’s. But this past Tuesday he traded in his coach persona for “Santa Claude” at Four Seasons Boston’s Teddy Bear Tea.

The four seasons hotel delivers hundreds of teddy bears to children in need through nonprofit organizations and hospitals every December. And since the Bruins mascot is a bear, it seems only appropriate for the Bruins organization to get involved.

So ladies and gentleman on this Christmas Eve, I give you the gift of Santa Claude reading “The Night Before Christmas”.