@FlaPanthers & @68Jagr Playoff Primer, NY Isles visit Florida Thursday
SUNRISE–The Florida Panthers host the New York Islanders Thursday evening at BB&T Center in the first game of a best-of-seven series in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The Panthers won the Atlantic Division with a 47-26-9 record for 103 points while the Islanders were the first wild card qualifier. Since the Metro Division sent five teams to the playoffs, the Islanders must work their way through the Atlantic bracket.
We avoid predictions because the conditions under which they made can be greatly altered with an injury to a key player on the first shift of the first game. Less obvious injuries can make a player look ineffective or unmotivated.
Having spent some time covering an NHL team in the aftermath of a championship on year and being eliminated the next, your JAGRometer.com editor can guarantee you this: The players care more than the fans. Victory brings joy. Defeat brings a feeling one might experience if they watched themselves accidentally run over their own dog. The roller coaster ride has unbelievable highs and lows as the teams go deeper into the playoffs. The victor survives, the vanquished is beaten.
Neither team has a recent playoff success so neither has an emotional edge.
Scoring matters, defense matters, goaltending matters. Failure in any sector can undermine brilliant efforts in the other areas of a team’s game. Playing with confidence when ahead, playing with urgency but not panicing when behind. Anticipating, but not looking so far ahead that basic plays like catching and receiving passes are missed, sometimes resulting in a counter attack by an opponent.
The Panthers are a good 5 on 5 team. Penalties can be scarce, especially in the latter stages of a game because there’s a fear in the back of many referees heads that doing their job is somehow influencing the game in a bad way if they call a penalty that results in a goal for the team that is behind.
Jagr’s playoff career is longer than many teammates regular season career. In 202 games he has recorded 78 goals and 121 assists for 199 points and a +32. There are enough youtube highlights to see what he can do in the playoffs. Since returning from the KHL he’s been to the playoffs twice. With the Philadelphia Flyers he had an overtime goal vs the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of a series won by the Flyers. For Boston the next season he was snake bit in goal scoring and managed 10 assists in the Bruins run to the finals. That was top top production among Bruins forwards that year. Here’s the Jagr-O-Meter, playoff style!
Follow the link in this tweet from the Florida Panthers for the team’s postseason media guide. It’s pretty accurate though it should be noted that Jagr did play and record an assist in Game 82 and was not assigned to the minors as stated in the game by game stats for each player section.
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@rytiriKladno The Kladno Hockey Club: Before coming to the NHL Jagr played for this team in the Czech league as a teenager. Now he owns the team. It’s in Czech but some devices can translate to English. Follow them at:
@HockeyCzech National organization for hockey in the Czech Republic.
@68isgr8 is the twitter forThe Traveling Jagrs. Clad in different Jagr jerseys and hair styles from 68’s career, they gained league-wide recognition when they caught Jagr’s attention during a pre-game skate of a Dallas Stars game in Canada during the 2012-2013 season. Since then, they convene at games in Western Canada and make a road trip or two every year, playing street hockey with locals, posing for hundreds of pictures, and having a good time with fans while honoring an all-time NHL legend.