Jaromir Jagr figured it would be a more memorable moment when he finally got his 1,888th NHL point to take over sole possession of second place on the all-time scoring list.
“I was dreaming of something else,” he said late Thursday night. “I thought I was going to score a beautiful goal, have a beautiful assist.”
Sometimes, you take what you can get.
Jagr got point No. 1,888 in Florida’s 3-1 loss to Boston on Thursday in odd fashion, as he was credited for an assist on Sasha Barkov’s third-period goal after Barkov pounced on a puck which deflected off of Jagr’s rear end.
A hard shot from Mike Matheson toward goalie Tuukka Rask hit Jagr, bounced into the air and landed in front of Barkov.
Jagr began tapping his backside to indicate the puck hitting him and game officials took to video to confirm it did.
“He said he wanted to score a nice goal,” Barkov said. “Sorry, Jags.”
After a brief break, Florida players began celebrating Jagr on the bench as the game came to a halt.
“It would have been embarrassing,” Jagr said, “if we all celebrated and then have them say ‘it didn’t hit him.’ ’’
Video tributes from Mark Messier (whom Jagr passed) and Wayne Gretzky (now the only player in NHL history to score more points than Jagr) followed a brief ceremony on the ice in which the Panthers presented Jagr with an engraved gold stick.
“This is about as heavy as my early sticks,” Jagr joked as he lofted it in the locker room.
Jagr didn’t seem to be in the mood to celebrate much after Florida’s lackluster loss to a Boston team it is trying to chase down for a playoff spot.
Although Jagr did a long media session in the locker room as well as in-arena hits on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” following the game, he made it clear he wasn’t happy with the way he and the Panthers played.
“It was a huge game for us,” Barkov said.
Florida had been trying for its first three-game winning streak of the season yet fell four points back of the Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings.
“He’s upset,” Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe said. “He’s second in the history of the NHL in scoring and probably doesn’t really care about that right now. The two points are more important to him, and that’s what our young guys need to take from this.”
Said Jagr: “If the game doesn’t go the right way, I just can’t put it behind me. I always feel a responsibility for how my team plays. It’s not easy for me to talk about accomplishments.
“I wish I had no points and we won the game, and I could save this for another game. Obviously, this is what happened.”