Archive | 12:00 PM

Jaromir Jagr Doesn’t Mind The Boos

24 Dec

NEW YORK — Jaromir Jagr hears the boos. He just doesn’t pay them any attention. At 39-years-old, he’s got more important things to be worried about. Friday night in New York marked the second time this season visiting a team that he had played for before and the fan base subsequently welcomed him with boos.

Every time he touched the puck at Madison Square Garden, they poured it on. But why? When Jagr was a Ranger he pulled the team from mediocrity and brought them to the playoffs after seven years of early tee times.

“I didn’t hear much,” said Jagr. “When I’m in the game, I don’t hear it. It wasn’t that bad.”

He was booed in Washington earlier in December, and he said that didn’t bother him either.

“I’m not 22 anymore,” he said.

New York was no different, but at the same time, he knows it will get worse. His season, especially with how productive it’s been, has been building up to a boiling point.

“It’s gonna be a lot worse in Pittsburgh, no question about it,” he said. “If you want to hear boos, go to Pittsburgh.”

On Dec. 29 he will return to Pittsburgh, the team that made him famous and the team that feels slighted because he signed with the hated Flyers instead of the team he began his career with. The expectation in Western Pennsylvania was that No. 68 would hang in the rafters someday, but that doesn’t seem likely now.

What does seem likely, is that the worst from the fans is yet to come. Good thing for Jagr, it doesn’t seem to bother him. He’s prepared.

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Flyers See Better Effort, Just Not Results

24 Dec

NEW YORK — Ilya Bryzgalov was upset. Understandably so. The Flyers lost the Winter Classic primer and now have three days to think about a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers where they could have had more goals and possibly should have given up fewer.

The first two of the Rangers’ four goals came on deflections, giving New York a lead despite being outplayed. It seemed like a stark contrast to the last time the Flyers visited Madison Square Garden, a 2-0 loss on Nov. 26. But don’t tell Ilya Bryzgalov that.

“It was a really similar game to last time,” said Bryzgalov. “It’s like déjà vu, just a little bit scoring different.

“I guess they want it more than we are. That’s why they win.”

His teammates don’t necessarily agree. The effort was there and if it weren’t for a bizarre deflection from Derek Stepan at nearly the side of Bryzgalov’s net, or a Ruslan Fedotenko deflection that even juked out the on-ice officials, the Flyers would have a tie game.

“I think it was a pretty good game,” said Andrej Meszaros, who finally got the Flyers on the board in the third period. “It was definitely better than the last time we played here. So that’s positive, but the result is not what we wanted. We lost. We just have to shake it off on a couple day’s rest and get ready for Tampa.”

The Flyers out-shot the Rangers 30-24. They had quite a few opportunities to take an early lead and just had no finish. Some of the Flyers recognized that through the frustration of losing the last game before Christmas.

“I don’t think they’re better than us,” said Jaromir Jagr. “They were just more effective than us. It happens. We have to learn from that.”

“I don’t think that we didn’t try tonight, or that we didn’t try to come in here and execute,” said Peter Laviolette. “I don’t think it was a lack of effort — it was a couple of tough breaks.”

That said, it is a tough pill to swallow. It sounds as though the Flyers were cognizant during the game that whatever the result, it would be a feeling that would last days. Even in the second period, when the game was decided, the Flyers felt like they were in a hole too deep.

“That first five minutes was not good hockey,” said Scott Hartnell. “Our line went out there. We were circling. They were in our zone for 45, 50 seconds. Next line goes out there and same thing.

“That first TV timeout, Lavy snapped on us and tried to give us a wake-up call, but by then it was 2-0. It’s not Flyers hockey. It really leaves a sour taste in our mouths heading into the holidays.”