BOSTON, MA -
In a night that saw a combined 97 shots on goal at TD Garden between the Bruins and Senators, the entertaining "scrimmage-style" of shot-counter hockey wasn't even the real story surrounding the spoked-B.
Before the B's pulled out their 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, with goals from David Krejci, Tyler Seguin (who fired 12 of the Bruins' 50 shots) and the game-winner off the hot hands of Nathan Horton, who notched his four goal in as many games - GM Peter Chiarelli announced that Boston had acquired NHL veteran Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars.
So, following the win, it was rare - but not unexpected - to have most of the questions from media and talk amidst the locker room centered on the impending addition of Jagr, as opposed to the two points earned.
From younger B's like 21-year-old Tyler Seguin, who's nearly half the age of the 41-year-old Jagr, to fellow Czech mate David Krejci and the 36-year-old Captain Zdeno Chara, all weighed in on the trade that brought in a pedigree that speaks for itself (but is worth noting - 1,679 career points, including his most recent milestone of 1,000 assists, in 1,380 NHL games).
"Yeah, I am excited, obviously. He’s a big name, especially back home," said the Czech Republic native Krejci, who played with Jagr in the 2010 Olympics. "Never really thought I would have a chance to play with him on a real team other than a National team so it’s pretty cool and I’m looking forward to it."
"Obviously he’s a great player. It’s going to give us more offense, it’s going to be tough for other teams to match up lines so it’s going to give us a little more depth up front," added Krejci. "So I hope he’s going to do well and we’re going to do well as a team."
For Tyler Seguin, who found out via Twitter that Jagr would be his new teammate, it's obviously (the word of the night, as Jagr's track record is very "obvious") pretty surreal.
"It’s obviously very exciting. I know he entered the league a couple of years before I was born," Seguin smiled from in front of his locker room stall. "So it definitely shows his experience. I’ll be watching him closely."
"He’s got so much experience, so he’s definitely going to lead our team pretty well," Seguin expanded. "I think guys are going to be looking up to him, and I think he’s got incredible skill. He’s going to help out our depth, for sure, and obviously our power play."
Jagr's Power-Play Touch
The Bruins' power play woes have been chronicled, with the league's 24th ranked man-advantage, and while they're not building up expectations, it would certainly be a boost to have the play-making of Jagr in the mix, who's already scored six of his 14 goals on the PP this season.
"From a confidence standpoint, I guess you could say a little spark," said Seguin. "Coming in here, everyone definitely is going to look up to him with what he’s done, and I think he’s going to be a big part of our locker room, both on the ice and in the dressing room with getting a true leader."
"He’s got that great shot, he’s good on the half-wall, but he brings more than just that," Coach Julien told media following the B's win over Ottawa. That’s one of his strengths, but there are a lot of things he can help us improve on. Power play will be one of those, but more than that, 5-on-5, where he excels in the areas we try to pride ourselves on."
Legendary Career in Tow
Jagr has taken 4,853 of those shots in his career, en route to becoming a five-time Art Ross Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion, among a list of countless other accolades (not to mention, the proud owner of the best hockey hair to ever exist).
"He’s well known for so many years what he’s done and proven, so yeah, it’s a great addition to our team," said Zdeno Chara, as he knew he was stating the obvious to the reporters surrounding him in the room.
"You should know. He’s been doing it for 20 years, so he’s just a great player."
Captain Zee is no stranger to keeping in machine-like shape, as he, along with Dennis Seidenberg, has been known for religiously following his workout routine and staying at the utmost level of peak, physical condition. So he understands how Jagr can be still going strong in his illustrious career.
"What he gained as a young man working extremely hard, he still has it, and he still works extremely hard," said Chara. "It’s not like he’s just playing only by style. I mean, he, what I’ve heard and talked to other people, and he still works extremely hard on his game, and he still wants to win and he wants to be as best as he can be, so when you have a player with his talent working hard, usually good things happen."
"Obviously, we’ve never played together, but I’m looking forward to it."
Little Lucic Wouldn't Believe It
It's hard to imagine the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Milan Lucic as a 10-year-old, but there was a photo No. 17 showed the B's PR staff and TSN's James Duthie that has been making the rounds on Twitter, showing the young Lucic pictured with Jaromir Jagr in 1998.
"If you would have told me back then that we were going to be teammates down the road, I probably wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are today," said Lucic, who gave some context on the photo.
"Yeah, a long time ago, back when I was 10 years old, my uncle, Dan Kesa, he played on the Pittsburgh Penguins, and when they played the Canucks I had a chance to go down in the dressing room and meet him, and that was obviously back when he was in his absolute prime, and for us, me and my brother, for us as kids it was pretty awesome to meet a guy like him."
For Lucic, who said Jagr still has that "swagger," it's going to be a special time to be able to learn from the future Hall of Famer.
"And the same feeling today when you hear the news that you get to play with a legend like him, it’s definitely going to be a great addition to our team. I think Claude [Julien] said it best when he said we’re not looking for him to be the savior. We’re looking for him to add onto this team and hopefully make us better."
Piece of the Puzzle
"Well, there’s no doubt he’s going to help us. And I think that’s the key word, he’s coming to help us, he’s not coming to save us," said Coach Julien on the acquisition of Jagr. "That’s what people have to understand. He’s a great player, and he still is a great player, but at the same time, if we expect to watch him do the work we’re not going to be going anywhere. We need our team to play better and he’s certainly going to help our team be better."
"I like the acquisition – a big strong guy, he’s hard to knock off the puck around the net area, in the corner; he does a great job. To me, he seems to suit our needs and what we’re all about. Again, I know he’s happy to come here and we’ll certainly be happy to have him in our lineup because he’s going to help in a lot of areas."
"He’s a veteran, he wants to win another Cup, and he’s always been a true professional so we don’t expect him to be any different with us," Coach added.
"And I have a feeling that he’ll fit in really well with our group."