Jaromir Jagr has been a big disappointment this season. He’s on a pace to produce his worst offensive season since his rookie when he scored 57 points. But he’s turned things around lately and you should expect a huge second half from the superstar Ranger.
Jagr is currently on pace to score 64 points, but if you go 10 days back, he was on pace to score a lowly 56 points. A five game point streak that saw him score seven points has rejuvenated his numbers, but they are still far below what his owners expected when they drafted him in the first round.
He ended a 10-game goalless streak on Wednesday with his first two-goal game of the season. Jagr hasn’t had many of those the past couple of seasons since he had only four 2-goal games last year and his last hat trick occurred in March 2006. So it’s a very positive sign to see put two pucks in the net. While Jagr isn’t the goalscorer he once was, his 20-goal pace is far too weak for a player who has 15 straight 30-goal seasons to his credit. In fact, the only year he didn’t reach the 30-goal mark was during his rookie campaign when he scored 27 goals.
Several factors contributed to Jagr’s poor performance this season. First, he didn’t find chemistry with either of the two new centers signed at big money contracts during the off-season. Things didn’t go well in traning camp with Scott Gomez so he started the season alongside Chris Drury. It was thought that the move would give a huge boost to Drury’s fantasy value, but the two players didn’t click and were separated after a few weeks. Then Martin Straka, who has been a regular linemate of Jagr’s the past couple of seasons, got injured and missed 15 games. Jagr was forced to play with the likes of Marcel Hossa, Nigel Dawes and Brandon Dubinsky. Even when Straka returned, he and Jagr were matched with Dubinsky for several games.
Five games ago, coach Tom Renney decided to unite Gomez with Jagr and Straka and they have been on fire since then. In those five games, the trio has totaled 7 goals and 21 points.
It looks like the right chemistry has been found and you can expect fireworks from those three during the second half. I expect Jagr to score at least 50 points in the remaining 45 games and I wouldn’t be surprised if he scored 60. He’ll also pick up his goalscoring pace and will come very close to a 16th straight 30-goal season.
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I’ve been in first place for the past couple of weeks, but it’s a very close race with three teams separated by a mere five points at the top. Rotowire`s Topper and Rotoworld are close on my heels. Daniel Carcillo’s injury will hurt me a little, but I have Jared Boll so he’ll compensate. My right wingers are hurting with Martin Erat and Ales Hemsky on the shelf so I picked up Antti Miettinen and Colby Armstrong. Mittienen has been fire in December and I’m going to ride him while he’s hot. If Armstrong can produce regularly enough and remain alongside Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin he could produce excellent numbers in the second half. The three played together for the entire duration in the Penguins last couple of games.