On Tuesday night, Jaromir Jagr scored the game winning goal in the New Jersey Devils 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was especially noteworthy, because it was Jagr’s 119th career game winning goal, which set an NHL record (and likely one that will be here a while). The goal puts him one ahead of Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, and it further cements Jagr’s legacy as one of the game’s all time greats.
Jagr already owns a number of NHL records. He’s the highest scoring European in NHL history, has the highest point total in a season for any Right Wing (149 points), had the most consecutive 30 goal and 70 point seasons in NHL history, the most regular season overtime goals, as well as several other Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers records.
But this is a season with many more possible milestones for the 41 year old Czech winger. As if his resume needed anything else. The 5 time regular season scoring champ (and 2 time runner up) has put together some impressive statistics, and this year, they could get even gaudier.
What he’s closest to is the 1,700 point mark. In fact, thanks to yesterday’s two point game, Jagr is just one point away from hitting that mark and could get there any day now. He would become just the 8th player to top 1,700 points. With a strong season in the neighborhood of the 54 points he put up in the last full NHL season, Jagr would top former teammate Mario Lemieux on the all time points list. You know, just in case Penguins fans didn’t already have mixed feelings about Jagr. It’s unlikely that Jagr could top Steve Yzerman or Marcel Dionne though, unless he decides to come back for another season.
Jagr could also top 700 goals this season. With tonight’s goal, Jagr currently sits at 684 career tallies. If he could get to 700, Jagr would once again leap frog former linemate Lemieux and jump into 7th place all time on the goal scoring list. Only 6 other players have ever joined the 700 club. A real high scoring year could put Jagr ahead of Mike Gartner in 6th place all time, but with only 3 tallies on the season so far, and Jagr succumbing to fatigue late into seasons in the last few years, it appears unlikely that he will reach that point. 19-21 goals, which would be enough to get Jagr to the 700 mark, seems a more likely total.
There’s one more mark Jagr has the potential to hit (though right now it’s looking unlikely) is to reach the 200 playoff points milestone. He would be only the 5th player to hit that total and he only needs one point to do it. The only question is, can these New Jersey Devils make the playoffs? If not, would Jagr be a good trade deadline pickup for a playoff bound team at his age? It would be nice to see Jagr add to his list of accomplishments, but some teams could be turned off by his scoring troubles down the stretch in the Bruins playoff run. Although he was still valuable and proved that he still the hardest working man in the game.
But hey, even when he’s not scoring.. he’s still Jagr.. and we all need to enjoy these milestones, while he’s still here.