- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2003

BOSTON The good news: Jaromir Jagr does not have a groin injury.
The bad news: Jaromir Jagr is injured.
The Washington Capitals' star right wing and leading scorer took himself out of Saturday night's 5-2 loss in Ottawa after two periods, as a severe limp restricted movement in his right leg.
"It will be a game-time decision," said coach Bruce Cassidy, adding he didn't know much more than that the medical staff planned to work on Jagr yesterday.
Cassidy would have known more had the team, which faces Boston today, been able to get its star on the FleetCenter ice yesterday, but the surface was covered for a pro wrestling show.
Jagr has a history of groin injuries that have at times kept him out of the lineup for extensive periods. So it was seen as a positive that the wing felt pain in his thigh and right side, but not his groin.
"Oh no, no, no," he replied when asked if he thought the injury might be a long one.
He acknowledged, however, that he felt it stemmed from the second period of Friday night's game at MCI Center against Toronto. He was shoved from behind and into an open doorway leading to the Leafs' bench. Center Nik Antropov had a knee in the wing's back as he pushed him into the boards and the door opened just as Jagr and his 235 pounds arrived.
"Yeah, it could have been that or the knee in the back," Jagr said. "My whole right side is kind of like [out of line]. My shoulder, my back, I feel stiff."
Jagr said there was nothing specific that suddenly forced him out of the Ottawa game but the discomfort had been building.
"No, there was nothing earlier," he said. "It was just when I was fighting with [6-7, 245-pound defenseman Zdeno] Chara and I went to make a quick move off him, and he was holding my leg, kind of twisting it. I just don't want to make it worse. We play Carolina [Wednesday] and I want to be ready."
The Caps have indeed been fortunate when it comes to injuries this season. Through 47 games, they've lost only 61 man-games. Right wing Dainius Zubrus is on injured reserve with a concussion sustained Friday night, but there are no other significant injuries.
"Alex Henry will go back in the lineup and could go back in Jagr's place," Cassidy said.
If Jagr is unable to go, then Henry, the burly right wing-defenseman, will go back into the lineup but not as the first line right wing. Cassidy will juggle personnel, possibly moving second line left wing Peter Bondra up to the first unit and shifting left wing Kip Miller to the right side.
No matter what Cassidy does, he still needs his club to get out of its funk and end its three-game winless streak before it grows into something nasty. Before the recent skid, Washington collected at least a point in 14 straight games, going 8-0-3-3.
"Obviously we want to get back in the win column as quickly as we can," Cassidy said, "but I don't think we need to panic. In our last two games I honestly think we got away from things and now it's starting to catch up to us. In the Toronto game we gave up 12 scoring chances, we were not that bad. But pucks are going in right now for other teams. [Saturday] night one went in off Brendan Witt's foot. They're not going in as easy for us and we've just got to battle through it.
"The thing we have to be careful of is that we don't let it slide, we have to get back to the things that made us successful. It's not always easy to get it back, you lose it quickly."


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide