Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Jaromir Jagr is 45. He’s older than his other two linemates combined. He’s older than eight of the Blues. He’s the last player standing from NHL 94, and the day that he retires will officially be the day that my childhood dies.
He’s not only notable because of his age. His work ethic is the best in sports, and he’s having a season that, yet again, would make men half his age jealous. At 11 goals and 23 assists, he’s behind last year’s output but is still tied for fourth on the team in points.
It’s hard to overlook another of hockey’s elder statesmen, Roberto Luongo. Luongo isn’t having a career year, but at age 37 he’s not looking too bad either. He’s a stabilizing force for the Panthers. He hasn’t been playing his best recently:
His start against the Kings on Saturday notwithstanding, he’s not the reason that the Panthers have crawled back up into playoff contention. They’re just two points behind the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic and one behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last wild card position.
Basically, all this boils down to the fact that tonight’s game is going to be tough. The Panthers want back into that playoff position, and they won’t roll over for the Blues.
The Blues, unfortunately, have to try to start a new winning streak tonight after their six-game streak came to an end in Buffalo Saturday afternoon. This will be game 800 for Alexander Steen and it may mark the return of Paul Stastny from the IR. The Blues have played well minus their top center, but getting him back for the stretch would be beneficial. On the other hand, this is the last game before the team has five days off, so they may elect to rest Stastny up.
The looming prospect of the bye week isn’t one anyone’s looking forward to - as Jeff and Brad mentioned this morning on Game Time AM, teams returning from the week off have a horrendous record. A win going into it would be some insurance at the very least.