Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr moved ahead of Mark Messier on the NHL’s all-time points list and into sole possession of second place with an assist in his Thursday home game against the Boston Bruins.
Jagr got his helper on Aleksander Barkov’s third period goal to reach the mark. This pushed the 44-year-old Jagr to 1,888 points for his career in his 1,663rd game. It took Messier 93 more games to hit his total of 1,887 points.
A shot from Michael Matheson glanced off Jagr’s pants, hit Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, and then went to Barkov who put the puck into the net. Officials had to check to make sure the puck did indeed hit Jagr so they could officially give him the assist. The game then was stopped for a brief ceremony where Jagr received a gold stick.
Wayne Gretzky holds the NHL’s all-time points record at 2,857, which he accomplished in just 1,487 games played.
While Jagr was happy about the feat, he wasn’t too thrilled about the game itself, a 3-1 loss by the Panthers. Barkov’s goal came at the 13:20 mark of the third period and made the game 2-1, but the Panthers couldn’t figure out a way to come back and give Jagr a win on his historic night.
“I was dreaming about something else,” Jagr said. “I thought I was going to score beautiful goal, beautiful assist, and we’re going to win the hockey game. Obviously, it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, but the best thing is just to put it behind us and the whole team should concentrate on winning the games. We didn’t play very well today.”
Jagr started the year slow with six points in his first 17 games, but has recently found his rhythm. In December, Jagr has picked two goals and six assists in 11 games played. Last season, Jagr notched 66 points in 79 games and so far this season he has 20 points in 34 games.
“Right now, we lose the game, and it was huge game for us,” Barkov said. “It doesn’t feel that good. But in 20 years, you’re not going to remember who you played against or if you won or not. You will remember that you were part of it. Of course he said he wanted to score a nice goal, but … I’m sorry, Jags.”
With Jagr, there’s often a ‘what-if’ element to his NHL numbers because of work stoppages along with his own decision to bolt the league late in his career.
Jagr played just 48 games in 1994-95 when the league shut down due to a lockout. In 2004-05 the NHL missed an entire season due to another lockout. After the 2007-08 season, Jagr left North America to spend the next three years in the KHL, before returning in 2011-12 with the Philadelphia Flyers.
“This is kind of anticlimactic for me in a way,” Messier said recently. “I understand the amount of time he put in overseas. In my own mind he surpassed me a long time ago.”
From other @NHL Legends to ours.
Congrats, Jaromir. pic.twitter.com/w2l9xGB8JC
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) December 23, 2016
Joe Thornton is the next highest-scoring active player in the NHL with 1,363 points.
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