Long one of the game’s leading scorers and a key acquisition for the Bruins playoff run from the Dallas Stars, Jaromir Jagr, entered the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs with 78 career postseason goals, good for 11th on the alltime list—just one behind Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau who notched his last playoff goal in 1971. Now 18 games into the playoffs, two-games into the Finals, and following a Game 2 blast that got past Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford but rang off the goalpost in overtime, Beliveau remains alone in 10th place and Jagr still has a zero in the goals column.
Mario Lemieux's former sidekick's goal-scoring drought has reached 27 games dating back to early last postseason when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers, an unimaginable stretch for someone who has scored one goal nearly every two NHL games for which he laced up his skates. Discounting the puck that eluded Crawford (since it wasn’t on net) Jagr, 41, has taken 51 shots this postseason, the most he’s unleashed in the playoffs since 1995-96, when he peppered goalies a career-high 74 times, but those resulted in a career-high-tying 11 goals. The drought has dropped his career postseason shooting percentage a full point, down from 12.9% to 11.9%.
Since 2008 (including three years spent with Avangard Omsk in Russia) Jagr has just one Stanley Cup playoff goal in 29 games. He's now in serious danger of being one of the least likely achievers of a dubious distinction: unleashing the most shots in one playoff season without scoring a goal in the post-Original Six Era. That title is currently held by former Florida Panthers defenseman Gord Murphy, who failed to score on any of his 53 shots during the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
What's even more shocking about the drought is that Jagr had a decent regular season. He managed 16 goals for the Stars and Bruins, admittedly a career low, but he was actually Boston's leading scorer from April 4, the day he joined the team, until the end of the regular season, with nine points, including two goals. And while not lighting the lamp, the sure Hall of Famer is contributing—his seven assists place sixth on the B's in helpers and tie him for seventh on the squad in points during these playoffs.
Game 3 is tonight at 8 PM at the Garden and on NBCSN.
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.