Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Deke - Reflex magazine - 24-May-01
by Jaromir Jagr
We are in the Conference finals playing New Jersey Devils, and we have just been thrashed terribly. The third game was lost 0:3, and it could have been worse. They did whatever they wanted with us. We got badly whipped by them once before, but at that time we were almost grateful for it. In the fall, they beat us 9:0, while Mario Lemieux watched it from his box. As an owner, he sure was not happy. In fact, he was furious. He told himself he couldn't watch it anymore. And the next Monday, he took his skates and started practicing.
It has been a long time since my last Conference finals. It's a nice feeling. You tell yourself that you got among the four best teams. There are parents of your teammates as well as your opponents at the games. I was leaving the arena the other day, and suddenly I was surrounded by a group of dark-looking men. One of them looked like a real Mexican. "Amigo, amigo", he shouted while whole-heartedly shaking my hand. And whether I would take a picture with him and his uncle. Why not, I said, so I posed with them, and when I was leaving, this cheerful man told me that his name is Gomez. He was a dad of one of those Devils who make us look so bad one the ice.
When you will read these lines, the series might be over. They are really a strong opponent. In addition, everything is terribly chaotic with us. I got off the ice, cleaned my visor, and knew that my turn won't come for a while. Kovalev, in his typical manner, was out there for almost two minutes, plus Morozov was supposed to substitute him, so I still had time. And suddenly somebody hits me, and Hlinka shouts "Jags, Jags, on ice!" so I quickly grab my gloves and jump there. But at the same time Morozov got on the ice as well, so the referee whistled and showed that somebody is going to sit due to too many men on the ice. My teammates started asking what's wrong with me, I replied that obviously that was not my fault, that the coach sent me there… And the top of it was that Mario skated to the referee and as able to out-dispute him. There was no power play at all. When we talked about it, somebody said that Mario must have given him an apology slip saying that we are really sorry and we won't do it anymore. And the referee showed some mercy. We played so badly that he felt sorry for us.
And, characteristically, New Jersey players did not even protest. They saw how harmless we were. Only their captain Stevens skated to the referee and started talking about something. "He's just asking whether we have it signed by our parents", said one of my teammates.
Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.
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