Friday, November 22, 2013

Jaromir Jagr Ties Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe with One Goal in L.A.

Jaromir Jagr had a big night in L.A.

Okay, that's a massive understatement.

The 41-year-old tied Mario Lemieux for 9th on the NHL's all-time scoring list with his 690th goal in the Devils' 2-1 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings last night. (Horrible awareness by Dustin Brown on the play, as he turns the wrong way and lets Jagr back in unmolested, but we'll let Darryl Sutter handle that and instead get back to the glory of No. 68) The goal also ties Jagr with Gordie Howe for the top spot on the NHL's all-time game-winning goal list with 121. Earlier this year, Jagr had reportedly already achieved that milestone, but a statistical error in the Bruins' and Devils' media guides was later cleared up.

And if that wasn't enough milestones for Jagr, the goal also pads Jagr's lead at the top of the NHL's all-time regular season overtime goals list. Jagr now has 18 of those, three more than Patrick Elias, Sergei Federov and Mats Sundin.

According to Tom Gulitti, Devils' beat writer, Jagr was so excited to tie Lemieux he almost forgot about tying Howe for the game-winning goals record. He went on to heap some high praise on his former teammate, which we'll quote below:

“I didn’t really have a chance to see Wayne (Gretzky) when he was doing the 200-point season in Edmonton,” said Jagr, whose goal was also his team-leading ninth of the season. “When I came in the league, I was playing with Mario, so he was the guy I was looking up to. I know Wayne got all the records, but, to me, I had a better chance to look for Mario. I could see him every day in practice the way he plays. He was a huge influence on the game I play. I learned so many things from him.

“There’s not many people who get to play with the best player in the world, so I’m going to tell all the young kids when you have a chance to come in the league and you play with the best player in the world, watch him because you can learn a lot. I was pretty lucky to see him at his best.

“I tied him, but he played (497) less games than me,” Jagr said. “This is just a number. He didn’t play many games. If he would play as many games as I did, he would have 2,500 points and probably 900 goals.”