Let’s be clear: We are not arguing that living legend Jaromir Jagr did not in fact hook reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin at the most crucial of moments in the Eastern Conference final.
Watch the play. That is a blatant hook. No question.
And, yes, Jagr’s stickwork helped him wrangle the puck, thus allowing him to be the catalyst for the latest bit of Marchand-Bergeron heroics.
What we will defend, though, is the referee’s decision to tuck away his whistle on the play. Sorry, Pens fans. It stinks that your team has run into a piping-hot goaltender in Tuukka Rask and that your well-oiled power play has turned to rust. But that was a good non-call.
No official should penalize a player in the thick of a puck battle along the centre-ice boards for a hook during double overtime of a conference final game.
“A great play by Jags to take that puck on the wall there and just fighting and getting the loose puck to Marsh, and we do that chemistry where we know where we’re going on the ice. I knew (Marchand) was going to try to find me there if I was driving the net, and I just went to the net and tried to have my stick on the ice, and he found me,” Patrice Bergeron said of his Game 3 winner.
“(Jagr) is pretty much a legend, he’s a guy that’s going to be in the Hall of Fame at some point, and he’s doing the little thing right there just to fight for the puck, and you notice that as a teammate, and it goes a long way.”
With his secondary assist on Bergeron’s winner, the 41-year-old Jagr is now tied for fifth (with Paul Coffey) in all-time NHL playoff points.
For both Bruins and Pens supporters, Jagr playoff point No. 196 is an unforgettable one.