Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Deke - Reflex magazine - 17-May-01
by Jaromir Jagr
The first two games against New Jersey are behind us, but I still have to say something about the Buffalo series. It was an unbelievable drama. I thought at one moment that we wouldn't get through it. Before the sixth game I had to stay in bed sweating, I did not even skate, and I felt terribly weak. One minute before the end we were ready for the towel. But the luck smiled upon us. Hasan could not find a puck deflected in the air, it jumped right in front the net, and Mario tapped it in. Stuff happens. I said in the locker room that moments like these decide not only about the winners of series, but Stanley cup winners as well. It was similar at the beginning of the third period. They scored, and we almost did not have any chances. And then Mario said: "We have to change it, I'm too tired. Kovy will go to me, and you play with Straka and Lang." I'm glad that he himself decided that way. When I play with him, I have to adjust, but I can play my game with Straka and Lanyz. Everything changed after that.
I have always had the best opinion about Hasan. But I have never seen him play like he did during the overtime. He was fantastic. We played very well, had at least 4 clear chances, but he caught everything. And then Kasparaitis scored. I understand that it must have been a terrible disappointment for Hasan. I heard that right after the game, he did his TV interview, threw his blockers on the ground, and disappeared from the stadium.
Everything happened mainly thanks to Kasparaitis. When he'd scored, I could not comprehend what happened. Kevin Stevens skated to me and said: "Do you understand that, he might have scored a goal! I have been here for 2.5 months, and I have never seen him score, during the game or practice." But you can't have luck all the time. After we'd gone on the plane, we started playing poker. Just for small change. Therefore it may sound unbelievable, but Kaspy lost several thousands on dollars in just five minutes. In Buffalo. We did not even take off.
No matter how the NJ series turns out, we still are among the 4 best teams. When I was returning home, I realized how close we were to losing the series. We went to Buffalo to play the decisive game. Pittsburgh Post Gazette had a headline on the game that said it perfectly - THE POINT OF NO RETURN.
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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