Jagr is back

Jaromir Jagr. Ben Pelosse/QMI Agency

Jaromir Jagr. Ben Pelosse/QMI Agency

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:10 PM ET

Here are this week's offerings as we continue to digest the comments from Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and feel sympathy, for who has not had that feeling of "I'm lost in the woods right now"?

Before embarking on this edition of NHL Saturday, we'll take a cue from Bryz and apologize in advance to fans and teammates ...

THE BUZZ: You cannot go into the Flyers dressing room and not listen to 1. Bryzgalov or 2. Jaromir Jagr. When asked how important it was to him to hold off Anaheim's Teemu Selanne in the battle as the career European NHL goal scorer, Jagr, who leads 649-640, said: "I think hockey and life is a lot bigger than just the numbers. It's kind of nice to play for some things, but if I really care about the numbers, I would probably (not) go to Russia (where he played for the past three seasons). I would stay here for three years and I don't think he would have a chance to catch me."

-- Jagr was asked if he had left the NHL in 2008 because he was no longer having fun: "I always had fun, there's no question about it. Sometimes you don't feel good. The man who has to perform, produce every game, it's not a good feeling. You can't talk about it, but he don't feel good and he still has to do it. That's probably the toughest thing, but right now I'm in a different position."

-- He always defends the Kontinental Hockey League. "There are a lot of people who say we didn't have a lot of games there. It's not true. You've got to understand they play 15 pre-season games, play for the national team another 20 games, then you play 56 plus playoffs. I think I played more than some guys who didn't make the playoffs here.

"The travel is a lot tougher than here, that's for sure. Especially where I was playing. Every trip was a three-, four-, five-hour flight. Three, four, five hours difference in time was a normal thing. It's not easy to do it when you do it every two weeks. Back and forth (east and west), it's not only on one side. We were kind of in the middle of Russia (in Omsk)."

--  On how long he will play: "Fifty, 60, 70 (years of age)? I don't know. Call me in 20 years, I'm going to be in Czech, if you're still going to do that job. How long do you think you're going to write? Call me."

-- On owning Kladno of the Czech league: "It's not easy to do that. I had to pick the team. I have to worry about finding money and all that stuff. It's not easy to do it. You have to negotiate with the players and they want more money. Try to get more here and save it here. It's a totally different side. As president, GM and owner you worry about the team, how it plays, not individuals. You don't care if somebody is playing good or not, you care about the team. We're .500. Last year we finished in last place. It's a big improvement."

We missed you, Jaromir.

HEAR AND THERE: Montreal Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov was to return from Florida Friday night after three weeks of intense rehabilitation on his right knee at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Pensacola, Fla. "The good news, even though there has been a delay, is that knee has been tested now," Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier said. "There is no structural damage to the knee, we're sure of that. There's just a process to get the knee back to the point where it can function at the level a knee needs to function to play in the NHL." Markov is expected to practise this week ... On Nov. 16, the NHL will hear the Los Angeles Kings' grievance against the Edmonton Oilers regarding the Ryan Smyth/Colin Fraser trade. The Kings are contending the Oilers misrepresented the extent of Fraser's injury when the deal was made. Fraser required foot surgery for a fracture and hasn't played this season.

THE BUZZ: Concern is growing in Columbus over the Blue Jackets goaltending situation and GM Scott Howson might have to start working the phones. Steve Mason ranks 33rd in save percentage (.885) and goals-against average (3.33) though he doesn't exactly have the Habs' Big Three playing in front of him ... One goaltending coach on the play of St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, off to a brilliant start after being run out of Ottawa last season: "Playing goal in the U.S. is a lot different than in a Canadian city with all the scrutiny from the media and the fans."

JUST WONDERING: You think Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter might want to wear those protective covers on his skates? His current foot fracture is his third (one left, two right). He has been cleared to play once he can stand the discomfort of putting on his skate ... Is the fact Prince George of the WHL is not a good team this season one of the reasons the Tampa Bay Lightning elected to keep forward Brett Connolly? Nobody has said anything, but there must have been a concern the sixth pick overall in 2010 would have been all about offence and his defensive game might have suffered had he been sent back to junior. "This is the best place right now to continue his development to get better," Bolts GM Steve Yzerman said.

JUST SAYING: If the Senators are sending prospect Mika Zibanejad to Sweden to "have the chance to score points," as GM Bryan Murray put it, good luck. Only one player in the Elitserien is averaging more than a point a game, Mike Iggulden with 22 points in 16 games. As one Finnish friend of NHL Saturday points out, Swedish hockey is notoriously low scoring, even by European standards.

THE LAST WORD: Minnesota Wild centre Miko Koivu has three assists in eight games. "I'm not that big on stats," he said. Just what you want to hear from your No. 1 centre who is in the first year of a seven-year contract.

Go Figure  

649
The number of career goals scored by Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr. He is the leading European career goal scorer, nine ahead of Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne. Jagr is 12th in career goal scoring overall and Selanne is tied for 13th at 640 with Dave Andreychuk.

394
The number of goals scored by Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, for third place among active European players on the career list, one ahead of Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks going into Friday night. Six of the top 10 active goal scorers are Europeans (Ilya Kovalchuk, 371 and Milan Hejduk, 360) are the others.

4
The number of times forward Tomas Vanek has scored the first goal for the Buffalo Sabres, to lead the league in that department. It's always interesting to look at when players score their goals -- do they score important ones, like the first goal in a game or pot them at garbage time when their team is either way ahead of behind?

5
The number of wins for the Florida Panthers in October. The Panthers haven't made the playoffs since the 1999-2000 season and one of the reasons has been their bad starts. They've had a total of only four wins in October in each of the past three seasons. They'll shoot for a sixth win of the month Saturday in Buffalo against the Sabres.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca
twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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