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Jaromir Jagr returns for the first time as a Devil

Nov 7, 2013, 5:33 PM EDT


An old friend and fan favorite returns to Philadelphia again tonight.

Jaromir Jagr, the 41-year-old enigma, comes to town this evening as the Flyers host the New Jersey Devils at Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m.

This is actually Jagr’s second visit to Philadelphia since leaving the Orange and Black. If you recall, Jagr came back with Boston this past April 23 during his half-season stint with the Bruins. He recorded and assist but finished minus-1 in a 5-2 Flyers win.

Jagr enters tonight’s contest as the Devils’ leading scorer with three goals and seven assists.  His 10 points would make him the Flyers’ leading scorer by three points over the trio of Vinny Lecavalier, Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux, each of whom have seven points on the season.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that at this point in time the Flyers, especially Jagr’s Philadelphia linemates Giroux and Scott Hartnell, miss the future hall-of-famer’s presence.

During his only season in Philadelphia two years ago, Jagr potted 19 goals and added 35 assists in 73 games played. Giroux – 28 goals and 65 assists – and Hartnell – 37 goals and 30 assists – both had career years playing alongside Jagr.

Oh, how things have changed around these parts.

Since Jagr decided to leave and sign with Dallas during the 2012 offseason, Giroux has totaled just 13 goals and recorded a minus-17 rating in 62 games. Though he’s added 42 assists in that span, his play clearly hasn’t been the same.

In that same span, Hartnell has played just 42 games due to various injuries. In those 42 games, Hartnell has scored nine goals and added just three assists. In fact, Hartnell hasn’t had an assist in the past 36 games.  It’s hard to get assists when the team doesn’t score, but you get the point.

On the ice, the Flyers really miss the way Jagr can create offense. Keep an eye tonight on the way Jagr carries the puck into the offensive zone with ease and the way he uses his body to win board battles and create space for his linemates.

He’s an offensive creator. The Flyers who are supposed to be creating offense, like Giroux and Jake Voracek, simply put, aren’t creating much of anything right now.

The Devils signed Jagr to a one-year, $2 million base-salary contract with another $2 million in potential bonuses this past summer.

In both hindsight and looking at the Flyers’ current offensive struggles, would you have signed Jagr to that type of deal?

It’s worth pondering.

All of this aside, I’m having trouble figuring out what Jagr’s Halloween costume was last week based upon the pictures he posted to his official Facebook page.

70s pornstar Aquaman? That’s my guess.

  1. mike - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I’m 90% sure that in the first period, during a Flyers powerplay, Marty Brodeur had more shots on goal than the Flyers did.

  2. mike - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Holmgren needs to be fired.

    Out of a cannon.

  3. Ron - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    I finally got to use a few of my tickets this year tonight. I wish I hadn’t. By far the most boring game I have watched at the center, that I can remember

    • mike - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      What was the atmosphere at the game like? On tv, it sounded like a funeral.

      • Ron - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:14 AM

        Funeral-esque would be a compliment. Took a girl who’s never been to a hockey game. Figured, it’s the Devils! It was bad. By far the quietest I’ve heard it there. Nothing to cheer for.

        ATLEAST she got to see how warm we are during introductions

  4. Jason R. - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    I honestly didn’t watch much hockey growing up, I just hated on Jagr cuz he was a Penguins. But when he was here it was awesome to watch him work and understand why he was so great and imagine how terrible it was facing him 10-15-20 years ago. Watching him play is like playing any sport with my pipefitter uncles when I was a kid, you can swat and flail all you want, you can’t outreach or out muscle em, they won’t be dispossessed, they’re gonna get to the goal/hoop/endzone and there’s just nothing you can do about it, it just so inevitable. That’s how I feel watching Jagr, It’s just different watching him operate and idk if there’s anyone right now in the NHL that compares to his style of game, maybe just cuz he’s slower now and speed is such a part of Malkin/Crosby/Ovie’s game but when he has the puck he HAS THE PUCK. And then *snap* it’s on goal.

    Anyway, there are other factors that go into whether or not the Flyers should have made a run at him, but I would’ve like to have seen him for a full season one last time.

  5. Beardy - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Flyers need to clean house in the front office. Only a few select guys should remain, and at the top of that list should be Hextall. Hire him as full time GM and let him build out the rest of his staff as he sees fit. This team is a disaster and the franchise has been set back a decade if not more by the incompetence of Paul Holmgren. The Richards and Carter deals STILL hurt this team, and there is no denying it. The complete lack of any defensive sense makes it even worse, and the complete bungling of the goaltending situation over the past decade is even worse. We let the Vezina Trophy winner walk the offseason before he won it. Let that sink in. That alone should be enough to get everyone from the lowliest of lowly scouts to the guy in charge canned.

  6. greg - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    game experience: the Jagr goal was a cherry on top of a cake i had no desire to eat. the “Let’s go Devils” chants were loud and proud.
    being a Union season ticket holder, i’m used to seeing boring, uncreative, scoreless play. i think it prepared me well for being at the game last night.

  7. Robb - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    How loud were the cheers for Jags goal?


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