NHL pluses and minuses: Jaromir Jagr hits another milestone

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the last week:

+ Jaromir Jagr on Saturday became the seventh NHL player to score 700 goals. The New Jersey Devils' enduring right wing joins Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) in the 700-goal club.

+ The Winnipeg Jets are 11-3-1 under Coach Paul Maurice, who replaced the fired Claude Noel. Their revival was well-timed — fans had become impatient with a team that seemed bound for another non-playoff finish, ending the love affair that began when the Jets moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta.

+ Vincent Lecavalier's game-winning goal for the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday was his 900th NHL point, a remarkable achievement by a classy guy. The Flyers seem to have gotten their act together, at least for the moment.

- The Phoenix Coyotes are winless in three games since returning from the Olympic break and have one point in that span, from a shootout loss to Winnipeg. They also lost their last game before the break and are in danger of missing the playoffs.

- Odd fact: Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby and Chicago center Jonathan Toews were gold-medal teammates with Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics before they faced each other Saturday for the first time in the NHL. It's a combination of scheduling that made East-West meetings rare, as well as injuries that sidelined Crosby the four times their teams met since Toews entered the league.

- Rain and rare snow in Vancouver kept the retractable roof closed at BC Place for Sunday's Heritage Classic game, a decision that looked wimpy after the Blackhawks and Penguins played through a near-blizzard at Soldier Field on Saturday. It was the last of six outdoor games this season, about three too many. Look for the NHL to stage no more than two or three outdoor games next season.


Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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