Translations by Tomas Jandik
Jagr's Deke - Reflex magazine - 11-Jan-01
by Jaromir Jagr
It was meant to happen. We lost at home, and in addition to one of the weakest teams. Montreal beat us. Actually, that club is not that bad, Canadiens have improved lately, but we were a little bit influenced by our previous great results, and we weren't focused when the game started. We gave up a goal at the beginning, and later found ourselves trailing 1:4. We made it close, but ultimately did not tie, even though we played the whole last period in front of their goal. There was no gloomy spirit in the locker room after the game. Sure we felt a little sorry, we actually had our chances, and we did not play bad, but their goalie Theodore had a great day. Well, let's move on. We play Washington on Monday, and Boston on Tuesday.
Lately I have been writing about Mario all the time, and even today I cannot start differently. He persuades me every day about his brilliance. People ask me a lot what we talk about all the time, because in Czech newspapers, we appear together on almost all the photos. It's simple. He gives me advice constantly. For example, he tells me to go to the front of the net, that he will "throw" it to me there. Like if it were the most obvious thing in the world. In the last couple of games, we did this several times. He often takes faceoffs in the opponent's end, which always confuses the other guys a little. They don't know how to play us, so they all get close to Mario, and suddenly there is plenty of space everywhere. So, I got close to the net, and watched what Mario would do. He won the faceoff, passed the puck to the board, got there himself, and passed the puck to me perfectly right in front of the net. I was so perplexed by it that I naturally did not score…. Sometimes Mario surprises the goalie by shooting directly after taking a faceoff. Today, against Montreal, he shot it twice in the upper corner while Theodore luckily saved it with his shoulder. Mario enjoys himself on the ice all the time, even though he still practices like when he started. He is the last to leave the ice, takes off his equipment, and still goes to the gym. Looks like I will have to start to imitate him.
Lately, people have talked about Barnaby. He asked for trade several times, because he has not been playing. He is on the fourth line, and since Hlinka often uses only three, Barnaby may jump in sometimes just once. We had a small meeting: coaches - i.e. Hlinka and the assistants -, Mario, and myself. We talked about Barnaby, and I quite openly said that such a player is needed. He knows how to pump the team up, and when we are down, he creates some excitement just by challenging the best opponent's fighter. I said I'd like him to stay, and Mario has a similar opinion. So Barnaby won't go anywhere for now. Even though only the coach can obviously determine whether he gets more chances.
I feel a little tired, but I'm glad that I have been playing quite well lately. I'd like to get on the top of the scoring race, even though what's more important for is that the team plays well. Especially Mario. And that nobody injures him. And that I don't get injured myself.
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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