Have you been following the Florida Panthers this NHL season? If not, you should probably start paying them some attention. It was back in November that I first suggested becoming a Panthers fan was a cost-effective solution to being a hockey fan. Part of the magic has been Jaromir Jagr‘s continued solid play. Remember that night he managed a breakaway in overtime after having his 4 front teeth knocked out? It’s always been a pleasure to watch Jagr, but I bet most people figured he’d have hung up the skates by now. But why would he when he’s still playing at an elite level, and setting records?
— FlaPanthers SPORTalk (@STalkFlaPanther) February 21, 2016
Yes, last night was another big night in the already legendary career of #68. With two goals against the Winnipeg Jets, Jagr tied, and then jumped ahead of Brett Hull for third place in all-time goals scored.
We’ll have a look at Jagr’s two last night in a moment, but first let’s take a look at a little highlight reel of some of Hull’s bullets that ended up in the back of the net:
Man he could tee it up. Brett Hull ended up retiring early in 2005 season at the age of 41, believing he was no longer playing at the level expected of him. Jagr turned 44 this past Monday (Feb. 15) and doesn’t show signs of stopping… Except when he asks fans not to vote him into the All-Star Game (and they do it anyway).
Fans-I appreciate your votes for All-Star game, but 3 on 3 would kill me,and i don’t want to die yet:)Thank you for understanding. Too old:)
— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) December 2, 2015
Anyway, back to the record setting. I’ll set the scene for you. The Panthers were hosting the Jets, who had a 1-0 lead with about five minutes gone in the second period. The Panthers were breaking into the Winnipeg zone when Dmitry Kulikov hooked up Jagr with a sweet pass and he did what he does best – he roofed it.
But Jagr wasn’t done there. Nope, last night, he wasn’t satisfied with just tying “The Golden Brett” (that nickname makes a hell of a lot less sense if you don’t know that Brett’s dad Bobby Hull was known as “The Golden Jet”). Opportunity knocked again, and you know he answered.
This one was a little different. By the 13 minute mark of the third, the Panthers had taken a 2-1 lead when Jagr was hard at work behind the Jets’ net with Jussi Jokinen, who eventually came away the puck and fed Jagr directly in front of the net – and he’s gonna score on that shot 9 times out of 10. Top shelf where they keep the peanut butter!
You heard the announcer there – Jagr’s got some good company atop the all-time goals list.
And you know damn well he was awarded the Spacey in Space hoodie as the Panthers’ Hero of the Game, as you can see him wearing it here with the puck that was goal #742:
You know what’s pretty cool? Jagr is, at 44 years old, leading in scoring on a team that has generally underperformed throughout most of its existence but is currently leading its division and second overall in the Eastern Conference. With the second goal last night, Jagr also became the oldest player to ever score 20 goals in a season.
I don’t want to make any crazy predictions here, but the way they’ve been playing, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers finally made another deep run in the playoffs. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a Rat Trick or two!