Sean Avery's ability to pinch headlines and the arrivals of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez in Manhattan have allowed Jaromir Jagr to go about his business quietly.
And though Jagr has started to make waves -- he had his first four-point game of the season in a 6-1 drubbing of the Maple Leafs last night to extend his points streak to six games -- the Rangers captain was happier to see the struggling Petr Prucha score twice.
"It's all about confidence," Jagr said. "I know what I'm talking about. When you stop scoring, you start doing different stuff to help the team or be in the lineup. It's tough, and then you kind of forget to score."
Despite his goal and three assists against Toronto, Jagr remains on pace for a sub-par season in terms of points production. With 33 points in 38 games, the 35-year-old is headed for 71 points. That would be his lowest total since the mid-1990s, when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a pair of gleaming new Stanley Cup rings and had much longer hair.
Consider that Jagr had 123 points in the season after the lockout and 96 in 2006-07, and his current pop-gun contribution is startling.
But if Jagr, who has brooded with the best of them at times during his NHL career, is concerned, he is not showing it.
"I don't worry about it," Jagr said. "I have played 17 years and I know how I did. Sometimes you feel good and you don't score, and sometimes you are in the right places at the right time, and you get two goals like I did (against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday)."
Leafs coach Paul Maurice was asked about the so-called success 6-foot-7 Toronto defenceman Hal Gill has had in shutting down Jagr, who had just one goal in the first three meetings between the clubs this season. But Maurice did not buy the idea that Gill has had more success than anyone else against Jagr.
"I'm sure Hal will tell you that never actually happens, that you never feel that confident," Maurice said. "You get to that elite group of guys and nobody has their number. (Jagr) has played against (the opponent's) best defenceman or biggest defenceman. You think of the numbers he has put up over the course of his career. Those numbers are not lying. He gets it done on a pretty regular basis."
And while he has been clean, apparently. Jagr didn't concur with a report that stated approximately half of Canadians believe performance-enhancing drugs are used by "many" or a "fair number" of NHL players.
"We're getting tested five times a year," Jagr said. "Hockey is different. Even if you do it, it does not give you that much of an advantage like something such as running the track. You have to use your head."