Jaromir Jagr

March Preview

The Olympic break is almost over, and the Rangers will be heading into March after remaining unbeaten in February on the back of a six game winning streak.  The Blueshirts will play 16 games over a period of 29 days this month, but will face division rivals for only four of those sixteen games.  They start out with three straight games against teams in the top eight of the Eastern Conference, but have seven against the bottom half of the East.

Record vs Opponents: 28-13-8 
Home Games: 7
Longest Home Streak: 3 games – 18th through 20th
Road Games: 9
Longest Road Streak: 2 games – 4 separate occasions
Back to Back Games: 3 times – 11th and 12th, 24th and 25th, 29th and 30th

Thursday March 2nd – at Flyers
SEASON SERIES: 4GP 2-0-2  Goals: 14-13  6ptsREMAINING GAMES: 3/22 (H), 4/4 (H), 4/15 (A)
The Rangers go into the game likely without Peter Prucha, though the Flyers may be missing both Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne.  The Rangers have won both games in Philadelphia, including an opening night 5-3 come-from-behind victory and the more recent 4-3 OT win, also a come-from-behind win.  Tom Renney has indicated that he might go with Kevin Weekes in net, and New York is likely to have Blair Betts available again.  The Rangers are 2-0-0 at the Wachovia Center this season.

Player vs FlyersGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jaromir Jagr75611+410
Martin Rucinsky10167-220
Martin Straka4246+30
Michael Nylander4134+32
Tom Poti15033-610

Saturday March 4th – at Devils
SEASON SERIES: 6GP 4-1-1  Goals: 17-12  9ptsREMAINING GAMES: 4/9 (A)
Both Petr Prucha and his replacement on the Czech Olympic Patrik Elias squad could well miss this game.  The Rangers have turned the tables on their one time nemesis this year with solid efforts in each of the games played.  Lou Lamoriello has officially taken over the reigns for the season, and the Blueshirts’ one loss in the season series did come in his debut game.

Player vs DevilsGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jaromir Jagr10459+16
Martin Rucinsky9336-16
Tom Poti14325-76
Martin Straka605500
Michael Nylander631408

Monday March 6th – v Hurricanes
SEASON SERIES: 2GP 1-1-0  Goals: 5-8  2ptsREMAINING GAMES: 3/14 (A)
The first meeting of the year between the two teams was possibly Henrik Lundqvist’s worst game of the season, as he gave up 5 goals in 50 minutes of work.  Chris Holt made his NHL debut in relief and was perfect in the final 10 minutes of play.  The Rangers bounced back in the return match two days later in New York with Kevin Weekes in net, jumping to a 4-1 lead before two third period goals pulled the Hurricanes back into the game. Carolina has been one of the biggest surprise teams in the league, currently leading the Eastern Conference, and they will likely have one of the two standout Swiss Olympic goaltenders Martin Gerber in net.

Player vs HurricanesGPGAPts+/-PIM
Michael Nylander2235-24
Tom Poti9044-22
Jaromir Jagr2033-40
Martin Rucinsky4112+28
Petr Prucha210108
Michal Rozsival2101-12
Martin Straka2101-52

Wednesday March 8th – at Thrashers
SEASON SERIES: 2GP 2-0-0  Goals: 11-4  4ptsREMAINING GAMES: 3/12 (H)
Early in the year the Thrashers struggled in net as they lost Pasi Nurminen (career ending leg injury), Kari Lehtonen (groing), Mike Dunham (groin) and Steve Shields (groin).  As a result the Rangers were able to take advantage of a couple of rookie netminders in their matchups to date.  Don’t expect a repeat performance though with Kari Lehtonen now healthy and working his way back into form.

Player vs ThrashersGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jaromir Jagr5246+32
Tom Poti11156+310
Michael Nylander2224+40
Ville Nieminen2123+32
Jed Ortmeyer5202+12

Saturday March 11th – at Canadiens
The Rangers played three games in the first month against the Canadiens and came away with a .500 record.  The two teams haven’t met since, but they have taken opposite paths, with New York building on their early success and Montreal struggling after a hot start and finding themselves once again with a goaltending controversy.  Jose Theodore looks like he may be close to being unseated permanently by the French born Christobal Huet, and continues to have problems off the ice with a recent positive drug test from Olympics testing (reportedly as a result of using the hair restorer Propecia) and an ankle injury suffered during the Olympic break at his home.

Player vs CanadiensGPGAPts+/-PIM
Dominic Moore4448+20
Martin Rucinsky6347+24
Jaromir Jagr4336-20
Steve Rucchin323500
Martin Straka3145-22

Sunday March 12th – v Thrashers
See above.

Tuesday March 14th – at Hurricanes
See above.

Thursday March 16th – v Capitals
Despite being the second worst team in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Capitals have played the Rangers hard in each of their three meetings this year.  Alexander Ovechkin was the hero in the first game of the season with a 5 on 3 PP goal to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead after the Rangers squandered a 2-0 lead and Darius Kasparaitis took an unnecessary penalty to give the Caps a two man advantage.  The second game went to the shootout which ended only after Marek Malik converted his now legendary between-the-legs shot, and the third was one of the most forgettable games of the season for New York, a 5-1 blow-out.

Player vs CapitalsGPGAPts+/-PIM
Tom Poti9167+74
Jaromir Jagr6235-24
Jed Ortmeyer6112+22
Fedor Tyutin6112-14
Marcel Hossa310100
Petr Prucha2101-12
Martin Rucinsky3101-22
Jason Ward6101-20

Sunday March 19th – v Maple Leafs
After losing their opening match-up 2-1 in Toronto, the Rangers bounced back in February with back to back 4-2 victories over the Leafs.  Kevin Weekes has played in two games this season against Toronto and has stopped 50 of the 54 shots he’s faced.  The Leafs are currently sitting just out of the playoffs and it remains to be seen what position they’ll be in by the time the Rangers wrap up their season against them.

Player vs Maple LeafsGPGAPts+/-PIM
Martin Rucinsky8268+614
Tom Poti11257-44
Jaromir Jagr3516+40
Petr Sykora221302
Steve Rucchin303300

Monday March 20th – v Bruins
SEASON SERIES: 2GP 2-0-0  Goals: 6-4 4ptsREMAINING GAMES: 4/8 (A)
Since leaving New York, Brian Leetch is yet to face the team that drafted him.  This year Leetch has missed both games due to injury, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be even with the Bruins come March 20th.  While the Rangers have taken both games so far this season with identical 3-2 scores, they were forced to go to a shootout in the last meeting in Boston.  The Bruins have struggled this year with the shootout, going 0 for 5.

Player vs BruinsGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jaromir Jagr3224+20
Martin Rucinsky7123+16
Darius Kasparaitis8033+18
Ville Nieminen2112+20
Petr Prucha211200

Wednesday March 22nd – v Flyers
SEASON SERIES: 4GP 2-0-2  Goals: 14-13  6ptsREMAINING GAMES: 4/4 (H), 4/15 (A)
See Above.

Friday March 24th – at Panthers
Henrik Lundqvist has pitched the only two shutouts of his NHL career to date against the Panthers, and got some luck in the only meeting of the year in Florida when Dominic Moore tied the game with just seconds remaining from an impossible angle. Lundqvist ended up helping decide the game in the ensuing shootout, along with Petr Prucha.  The Panthers could well be in rebuild mode once again by the time the teams meet for their final match-up of the season, and the Rangers will certainly be looking to stay perfect against a team they’ve dominated in recent years (15-3-1-1 in their last 20 games).

Player vs PanthersGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jaromir Jagr5549+56
Martin Rucinsky6156+42
Tom Poti12224+38
Michael Nylander3044+48
Petr Prucha320202

Saturday March 25th – at Lightning
The Rangers have only been shut out once this year, and it was the Lightning who did it.  Despite outshooting their opponents 36-21 and dominating play, the Rangers had to settle for one point when Vinny Prospal took advantage of a Petr Prucha mistake and jammed a puck by Henrik Lundqvist in overtime.  In the previous two appearances this year however, the Rangers have looked dominant against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions including a 5-2 victory down in the St Pete’s Forum back on November 10th.

Player vs LightningGPGAPts+/-PIM
Tom Poti12257-516
Martin Rucinsky6246+32
Martin Straka3134+12
Jaromir Jagr3044-14
Dominic Moore3202+10

Monday March 27th – v Sabres
There are few teams that the Rangers have losing records to this year, but the Sabres are one of them.  Like they have with the Capitals, the Rangers have found it hard to deal with the aggressive forecheck of Lindy Ruff’s young Sabre’s team.  They also have had stellar goaltending from Ryan Miller and Martin Biron, taking the Rangers to the shootout in the only game that the Rangers won in the season series.

Player vs SabresGPGAPts+/-PIM
Darius Kasparaitis8145+24
Jaromir Jagr6224-34
Tom Poti9134-412
Michael Nylander3213+32
Martin Rucinsky502202

Wednesday March 29th – at Islanders
SEASON SERIES: 5GP 3-1-1 Goals: 20-13 7ptsREMAINING GAMES: 4/6 (H), 4/11 (H)
In the first game of the season between these two division rivals, the Rangers suffered their only shootout loss of the year despite dominating the Islanders on the MSG ice.  The following night the Islanders scored on their first three shots and went on to put five behind Kevin Weekes and win the game 5-4, despite a hat trick by Jaromir Jagr.  Since that point however, the Rangers have dominated the series, outscoring their opponents to the tune of 14-5.  The Islanders are currently in danger of falling out of the playoff race and could be playing for next season by the time this game comes around.

Player vs IslandersGPGAPts+/-PIM
Jaromir Jagr79817+72
Tom Poti174913+614
Martin Rucinsky125510+88
Martin Straka54610+44
Michael Nylander5178+34

Thursday March 30th – at Senators
SEASON SERIES: 2GP 1-1-0 Goals: 7-7 2ptsREMAINING GAMES: 4/18 (H)
Both games this season between the two clubs have been one-sided affairs, with the home team winning on both occasions.  The Senators won 6-2 in the first game after the Christmas break for New York, and the Rangers returned the favor in February.  The big question for the Senators is how they will react to the possible of loss of goaltender Dominik Hasek during the Olympics.  If Hasek is not able to go, the Senators will likely have to bring in another veteran goaltender to guide them to the playoffs.  The Rangers have won only once in their last seven trips to Ottawa, a 5-2 victory back in 2002.

Player vs SenatorsGPGAPts+/-PIM
Martin Rucinsky717802
Jaromir Jagr3134+10
Martin Straka2123+40
Michael Nylander2112+20
Fedor Tyutin3028+12
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