- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Jaromir Jagr and the Washington Capitals yesterday laid to rest any issues about an off-the-cuff remark the right wing made on the bench during Saturday's NHL All-Star Game.
Jagr had just come back to the bench after the North American team scored on his World team in the opening minute and was asked by announcer Darren Pang how it felt to be a minus so quickly.
"I'm getting used to it from Washington," Jagr remarked.
"When he came on the bench and said I was a minus again, what am I going to say?" Jagr said yesterday. He insisted he replied in what he felt was a humorous fashion to what he perceived to be, under the circumstances, a humorous question: "Of course I was [joking]. I was laughing."
"It was construed differently by people who want to try to look for controversy," said coach Ron Wilson. "There was no harm intended there. There is not even an issue."

Caps are Pats fans
Wilson paid close attention to the Super Bowl, not necessarily because of which team won, although that did figure in, but because of the manner in which New England accomplished its huge upset.
"A team doesn't do what New England did [during the season and playoffs] and be counted out as they were going into a game like that," he said. "Ultimately, a team won and it's not unlike what happened last year with Baltimore. In football it's the team that comes together and plays like a team [that triumphs]."
Wilson was born in Canada but spent part of his childhood and collegiate days in Rhode Island, where the Patriots hold training camp.
"It's nice to see a team from New England win once in a while," said right wing Joe Sacco, a native of Medford in suburban Boston and a graduate of Boston University. "That was really a heckuva game."
Typically, he knew when the last New England pro team won anything "It was the Celtics in 1986, at least I'm pretty sure that was the last time" and already knows when another pro team from that area will win anything.
"The Red Sox? Never. No, the Celtics and Bruins will both win before the Red Sox win anything," the Red Sox fan said.
"You always want to support your hometown team so if the Redskins and Patriots were playing, we'd have a dilemma," said Adam Oates, who had adopted the Boston area and Cape Cod but was born in Canada.

Slap shots
Rookie defenseman J.F. Fortin played two games for Portland, Maine, over the weekend; the Pirates split. Rookie left wing Matt Pettinger spent the weekend at home in Canada but his return was delayed and he showed up yesterday as practice was ending. He said there was a mix-up with his paperwork when he attempted to cross back into the United States and he spent most of yesterday at the airport in Toronto, waiting for clearance. Washington practices today and plays host to Minnesota tomorrow night in the clubs' only meeting of the season.

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