tampabay.com

SLAP SHOTS

By TOM JONES
Published January 29, 2006


STARVE A COLD: Rangers superstar Jaromir Jagr can't shake an awful cold.

"Two weeks, I can't get rid of it," Jagr told New York reporters. "It gets worse and worse and I cannot take anything. I can't sleep from the coughing."

Jagr won't take cold medicine for fear he will test positive for a banned substance before next month's Olympics. Team doctors don't know what to give him.

"What can they tell us?" Jagr said. "They cannot give you any strong medicine because they drug test you and when you play it's not easy. As long as I can go a little bit, I'm going to play. If I know 100 percent I wouldn't get better, I wouldn't play."

Jagr still plods along. He scored his 30th goal Tuesday to become the second player in NHL history with at least 30 goals in 14 consecutive seasons. The record is 15 consecutive seasons, held by former Ranger Mike Gartner (1979-93).

But this cold is wearing him out. He's now going with a sure-fire method. He sent for his mom in the Czech Republic to come take care of him.

BAD WEEK: It was a rough week for Flames goalie Philippe Sauve. First, he gave up seven goals in a loss and put himself at risk for a one-game suspension when he instigated a fight with Colorado goalie David Aebischer. Because of that, his coach, Darryl Sutter, was at risk for a $10,000 fine. The whole thing didn't put the normally sour Sutter in a good mood.

"I wish (Sauve's) gameplan wasn't to be a fighter tonight," Sutter told the Calgary Herald. "I wish it was to stop pucks."

The next day, Sutter waived Sauve, the team's No. 2 goalie.

"When you have a clear-cut No. 1 goalie then your backup gets 15 starts and you expect him to win 10 of them," Sutter said. "You're only as strong as the weakest player on your team. The other night, he was our weakest player"

ME AND MY SHADOW: Seems as if the NHL no longer has defensive specialists shadow stars.

Anaheim's Teemu Selanne told the Edmonton Journal, "I can remember (Edmonton's) Kelly Buchberger following me right to our bench."

Buchberger joked, "I'd check him (into the bench) and he wanted to check out, but he had to ask me first."