Jagr hoping to fit in, win Cup with Bruins
BOSTON — Jaromir Jagr's skills have diminished since he scored at least 30 goals in 15 consecutive seasons.
He's content with what he has left, though, and so are the Boston Bruins.
“The game has changed, so I changed,” the five-time NHL scoring champion said at Thursday's morning skate before his debut with Boston against the New Jersey Devils. “I'm not the guy who wanted to score the most goals in the league or most points in the league.
“Don't take it wrong; I like to score. But there's more important things, the whole picture of a team and to win as a team. I think in that kind of way I've changed a lot.”
His initial role may be bigger than anticipated when the Bruins obtained him from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. That night, first-line center Patrice Bergeron suffered a moderate concussion in the second period of the Bruins' 3-2 win over Ottawa.
The Bruins gave no timetable for Bergeron's return from the fourth concussion of his NHL career.
At the morning skate, right wing Tyler Seguin moved to center between left wing Brad Marchand and Jagr. Coach Claude Julien wouldn't commit to sticking with that alignment.
Wherever he plays, Jagr should boost the Bruins' mediocre offense that scored just 20 goals in nine games before the meeting with New Jersey. His impact could be especially significant on the power play. Boston ranks 24th in the NHL in scoring with an extra skater, and none of its players had more than three power-play goals. With Dallas, six of Jagr's 14 goals were on power plays.
“He's a big guy,” coach Claude Julien said. “He protects the puck so well, strong on his stick, heavy stick. As you know, the power play is another area that he can certainly fit in. There's so much I think he can bring and, with our club, the way we play, there's no doubt he will blend in very well.”
But first Jagr, 41, must get used to his new teammates on his third team in two seasons.
“It's not easy, but, obviously, I'm coming to a great team,” Jagr said. “I've played for 22 years for a professional (team), and I played with so many great players and I learned so much stuff. And we can always learn. No matter how old you are, you can always learn.
“And if somebody thinks he knows everything when he's 25, he's lying to you or he's dumb.”
Jagr joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990, and they won the Stanley Cup in his first two seasons. He's still looking for his third championship.
“They (Bruins) won the Cup two years ago, and when you look at the top guys, they're still here,” said Jagr. “So they know they can do it. And for me, personally, I wish I can somehow help the team to produce better.”