Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jagr Needs To Pick It Up

Last year returning from the Olympics Jaromir Jagr scored two goals, bringing his total on the season to 41, as the Rangers blitzed the Flyers. This year, heading into tonights game against the Devils, Jagr is a full twenty goals less than last year, sitting at 21. The other night after the Black Hawks game Jagr remarked that the Rangers can't score goals. Is there that much of a difference in the Ranger scoring from last year to this year? This year after fifty-nine games the Rangers are averaging 2.97 goals per game. Last year the Rangers averaged 3.13 goals per game. Not much difference, only .16 goals per game. But with Jagr, there is a big difference. Last year he averaged .66 goals per game. Roughly that is a goal every game and a half. This year his average is down to .36 goals per game. Roughly, a goal every three games.

What has to be frustrating to Jagr and the Ranger fans is the ability of the Rangers to make goalies like Niittymaki and Lalime look like Vezina Trophy candidates. Jagr said after the all-star break that he has to pick it up and carry the team on his shoulders. Folks, like they say at the track its post time. We need an offensive barrage from the big guy and tonight would be an excellent time to start.

Not that Jagr is having a bad year. The numbers (21-51-72) don't compare to last year but he is ninth overall in the league, but his goal total is down. He seems to be more obsessed with setting up other players for scores rather than shooting it himself. Tonight he will have his shadow, Pandolfo, so maybe Renney could become creative by double shifting him and maybe putting him on the point of the power play rather than the side where they double up on him. Hopefully, tonight Jaromir Jagr will explode.

The Rangers have been playing well, notwithstanding the Flyer loss, winning four out of five and picking up nine points in the last six games. If they continue that pace for the final 23 games they would add 34 points and finish with 97 points. Its a tall order and without Shanahan it will be tougher. A Billy Guerin or a Keith Tkachuk would look awfully good right now.

ICINGS: Had a great day at the Garden yesterday watching Ranger fans, and one Devil fan, skating on the ice. My grandson, Nicholas, was joined by his dad and the rest of us watched. No way does the Pundit hit the ice at this stage of his life. Later we had a wonderful family meal, six of us, at John's Pizza on 44th Street off of Eight Ave. If you are in the area, try it, you'll love it.

February 20, 2007
Daily News
Rangers Follow Shanahan Lead
NY Post
This May Be Rivals' Last Swamp Fling

February 19, 2007
Newsday
Shanahan Will Rest At Home
Getting Unexpected Lift
Daily News
Rangers Win One For Shanny
NY Post
Comin' Out Fightin' Bad
Bounce-Back Win
Journal News
Shanahan Provides A Lift



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