Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The $14 million experiment gone horribly wrong?

It's early, but our ol' pal, Larry Brooks raised a warning flag the other day on the chemistry between the immovable object (a certain right winger of familiarity to Caps fans) and the irresistable (in terms of Ranger check-writing) forces brought in to play with him...

"Manhattan, we've got a problem.

"Let's face it. Gomez has looked lost skating with Jagr the last two games, but what's even more troubling, Chris Drury also looked lost skating with Jagr the first five games of the season. Really, there hasn't been a single shift on which either center has appeared to be speaking the same hockey language as No. 68."

Brooks goes on to describe what Caps fans might recognize all too clearly...

As long as Jagr insists on playing the game his way - and obstinacy is a trait shared by every great player extant - then going with Gomez as his pivot is a dicey proposition. So too is reverting back to Drury. So what to do with the 2-4-1 Rangers who have scored two even-strength goals their last six games and pretty much will go as Jagr goes as long as he's here?

"As long as he's here?" Even to hint at such a thing as Jagr leaving is shocking from he who has been Jagr's biggest cheerleader, going back to when Jagr was on the trading block as a Penguin clearance item in 2001.

With more than $86 million invested in the two new centers -- $14 million of it this year -- and more than a little difficulty finding one of them to mesh with the "obstinate" right winger, might this be the last year Jagr plays on Broadway?...option or not?


Hooks Orpik said...

Judging from last night's game, Jagr definitely looked like a force; a far cry from his unmotivated Caps days. But you can tell he misses Michael Nylander (a playmaking center that DID mesh with him), and he misses his buddy Marty Straka (injured).

Jagr rang one off the post and had several good scoring chances, but it's obvious that the Rags haven't fully integrated as a team.

With all that talent, you'd think it's just a matter of time before they break out and he'll achieve one of his statistical bars, but who knows. No need to remind Caps fans how JJ can sour quickly when things aren't going well.

Doug said...

Well, I don't feel sorry for the Rangers in the least. They have near zilch operating room without making some cuts/trades. Talk about being under the microscope and feeling the pressure of the NY media and fans....geesshhhh