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DeBoer, Devils concerned about toll Olympics will have on Jagr

Feb 24, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

JaromirJagr Getty Images

With the Devils right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chance, Peter DeBoer is worried about what effect the Sochi experience will have on Jaromir Jagr.

“You worry, for sure,” DeBoer said, per NorthJersey.com. “He got back on Thursday, so we gave him Friday, Saturday, Sunday off.  He’s back out here today. I’m probably more worried about it than him. When you speak to him about it, he sees it as a non-issue and his play seems to have backed that up.”

Jagr, 42, has been New Jersey’s best player this year, leading the team in goals (17), assists (32) and points (49). It’s actually scary to think where the Devils would be without Jagr’s contributions, which is why DeBoer’s highly concerned about keeping him fresh.

The Olympics did little to alleviate those concerns.

Jagr logged big minutes for the Czechs, playing five games in seven days while averaging over 17 minutes a night. He, along with fellow Devils veteran Marek Zidlicky, were two of the team’s biggest workhorses — DeBoer also mentioned the toll Sochi took on Zidlicky — and both now face a stretch drive in which New Jersey will play 23 games over the next 48 days.

DeBoer is acutely aware of what lies ahead.

“We have six back to backs left,” he explained. “So, you worry about it, yeah.”

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    He played a bunch in the tournament, but he’ll have had a week off before the Devils play again. I guess they get paid to worry, however unnecessarily.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    No need for concern. Jagr has established himself as the only high-quality steel machinery ever constructed in the former Czechoslovakia. He’s built to withstand a nuclear winter. A few games and plane rides probably don’t even register. You think he was joking when he said he’s going to play to 70? He probably meant to say until the year 2070.

  3. 950003cups - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Jagr can handle the work. DeBoer should be more concerned on how the long rest will effect the other players on the roster.

  4. lateralous - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    I’m more concerned about the toll DeBoer will have on the Devils. His personnel decisions this season have been beyond baffling.

  5. 950003cups - Feb 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    @lateralous

    DeBoer is nothing more that Lou’s puppet. Lou said it himself that he would have issues with sending big money players in the AHL. So in turn his cheap ass punishes all the youth for his own blunderous contract decisions. Salvador is terrible. Zajac is a bad joke. Henrique isn’t worth that kind if cash. They all have big contracts. The only valuable contract ran away from Lou and retired!

    • lateralous - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      For the record, I would like to see Lou given his walking papers as well after a decade of mediocrity but I do think DeBoer is partially responsible for how this season has gone. He has guys like Harrold, Salvador, Gionta and Volchenov constantly out on the ice in situations above their talent level. DeBoer does things like pairing Gionta and Bernier on a line with Elias to find an offensive spark. That should never happen. It’s a total waste of one of the only two forwards on the team with offensive creativity matching him up with those two slugs in 2nd line situations.

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