I wish I could find the stat regarding the record of the Islanders when the “Juice” was in the lineup. It was an overwhelmingly winning record out of the 46 games he played.
Jurcina’s size and steady presence in the lineup was simply a positive thing for the Isles. To me, of the off season signings prior to the season, he really came in under the radar as far as his capabilities. Like Radek Martinek, Jurcina just got the job done and proved to be a valuable asset to the team when he played. It’s interesting because I don’t recall him having stood out when he played on other teams as much as he did this passed season on the island.The only “issue” with Milan Jurcina was his health. Like so many of the guys on the back line, he spent a great dal of time on the IR or out day to day. This caused him only appearing in just those 46 games. However, he certainly made those games count, and was a nice veteran presence to have among the several younger guys who found their way into the lineup each night.
Jurcina totaled 4 goals and 13 assists in his 46 games. He has an amazingly hard shot, and I found myself wishing that he would have the confidence to use it a lot more. He even was used on the power play at times, though this was not a steady thing by any means. Nevertheless, when he gets that booming slap shot off, it is like a cannon, and is a weapon one can only help he will utilize more and more. If memory serves me right, he scored 2 goals in one game in which both of his shots were simply rockets.
Overall, I’d have to give Jurcina a B as his “rating” or “grade”. This is more or less because of the time he was out. I have no doubts that a full season of his reliable play would have helped the team tremendously. If anything else, at times, if there was another “knock” on him, it would be the lack of using his size to his advantage at times and delivering the bigger hit out there.
He is signed for another season, so, hopefully, he will have a much healthier campaign for the Isles. If he can stay in the lineup and use both is shot and his size with more effectiveness, he will even be an even bigger and better force than he was last season on the ice.
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