Blog Entry

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

Posted on: December 29, 2011 10:43 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 10:46 pm
jagrBy: Adam Gretz

PITTSBURGH -- Jaromir Jagr heard the boos everybody expected him to hear on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

They were at their peak in the opening minutes of the game, and at times were deafening whenever he touched the puck, or, heck, had any sort of noticeable impact on the game. This was not a surprise. He's heard it from the Penguins fans every time he's returned to Pittsburgh in an opposing sweater, and this time he was doing it in the orange and black of Pittsburgh's biggest rival after deciding to sign with them instead of making a return trip to the Penguins over the summer during what was a free agency gong show.

He did his part to silence the boos on Thursday, and by the time the third period rolled around, with the Flyers well on their way to a 4-2 win and a key two points in the standings, they were definitely more subdued.

Jagr was arguably the best player on the ice from start to finish, scoring a goal, generating a number of scoring chances and even making a defensive play early in the first period that robbed Penguins forward James Neal of what looked to be a sure goal. And that was the play that seemed to make Jagr smile the most in the locker room after the game when it was brought to  his attention during what was his third different media scrum. He not only laughed, but also made it a point to call several media members back into the room and told them to remember that play when it comes to their Selke vote at the end of the season.

"Guys when you go to vote for Selke," Jagr laughed. "Selke. Right here."

"Somebody says I don't backcheck, show them that clip. I think it was the best play of my hockey career, I've never been so close to my own net. I have to go tell coach."

He was clearly joking about it being the best play of his career (the own net comment can probably be up for some debate), but it was definitely a pivotal play early in the game and kept the Penguins off the board. It was just one of a number of  highlight reel plays made by him over the course of the game, including his 12th goal of the season and numerous other scoring chances. He finished the game with two shots on goal while attempting five others, and some of his best chances were on the plays that didn't result in a goal or even a shot.
More on Jaromir Jagr, Flyers

During a shift early in the first period, for example, he was twice left wide open in front, only to whiff on one pass and fire a second one through the goal crease. Later he had another prime scoring opportunity on an odd-man rush as he took a pass between the circles and let go a quick wrist shot that was gloved out of the air by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

"I had so many chances today," said Jagr. "I think I probably had the most chances I had in any game I played this season. I probably could have had five goals if I would be good player. Fifteen years ago I would have scored five. Not anymore. That's the difference between Jagr now and Jagr 15 years ago."

In kind of a sour mood on Wednesday during his first interactions with the Pittsburgh media, Jagr was clearly more relaxed on Thursday night. Scoring a goal and getting a win probably didn't hurt.  But this night wasn't just about Jagr's return to Pittsburgh or his legacy among Penguins fans.

Again, he's been back several times as a member of the Washinton Capitals and New York Rangers.

That wasn't true for Max Talbot. Thursday's game was the very first time he played in Pittsburgh as a member of another team.

Talbot, of course, spent the first six years of his career with the Penguins and played a major role in some of the team's biggest games over the past four years. He was a playoff hero during the 2009 Stanley Cup run when he fought then-Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo during Game 6 of the conference quarterfinals and then made his now-famous gesture to the Flyers crowd, while he also scored the Penguins' only two goals in their Game 7 win against Detroit in the Stanley Cup Finals. He was not only a key role player on the Penguins' bottom two lines, he also scored five Stanley Cup Finals goals during the 2008 and 2009 postseasons, each one seemingly bigger than the one before.

While it was obvious as to what sort of reception Jagr was going to receive, there was quite a debate before the game as to how Talbot would be welcomed. He was a popular player, as well as an important one, but he too signed with the Pittsburgh's chief rival, inking a five-year contract the same day the Flyers added Jagr. During a video tribute early in the first period there was initially some boos, before he was ultimately given a standing ovation. Of course, he too scored a goal for the Flyers, clinching the win with an empty net goal late in the third period.

"I knew I was going to have a little tribute," said Talbot. "But when the puck dropped I totally forgot about it so I was kind of surprised by it."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:00 pm

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

Near the end of the Flyers-Penguins game Wayne Simmonds PUNCHED Zybnek Michalek in the back of the head while trying to knock him off the puck.  In an NHL that is suspending players every week for questionable checks to the head I can't understand HOW that was 1) not a Penalty and 2) not a suspension???    The puck was right at Michalek's skates.  There is no possible way the Regs could miss it??   So how can this league get consistency with the Officials??  You see one game with 15 Penalties and then a FLYERS at PENGUINS game with only ONE Penalty in the last 45 Minutes???  We all missed an entire season of hockey so that we could "get it right" and play the way the game was meant to be played.  It's been my complaint about the league for 35 years.  I hear people ask HOW DO WE MAKE THE GAME BETTER TO WATCH???  I have heard people say it time and time again.  But nobody does anything.   PLAY BY THE RULES.

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: December 30, 2011 1:42 pm

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

Hey Boston,  why don't you bunch of suck asses stay off posting until you finally figure out that there are 26 letters in the alphabet.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 1:06 pm

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

I love all these closet Bruins fans coming out of nowhere this year. 

Nobody compared the Flyers to the Bruins, they simply said that Jagr is still an excellent player(he is) and would be a top 6 guy on the Bruins as well(he would).  

Since: Jun 7, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:14 am

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

You can't even compare the Bruins and Philly it's not even close. They might be close in the standings but I'll take the B's in a seven game series any day. I leave on this note once again you don't have the goaltending period end of story enjoy your regular season because they will take a fall in the playoffs!

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:31 am

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

I guess so since one player on Boston has more points than Jagr this year and by 1.....and he is 39

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 11:39 pm

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh

Great news for The Rangers and Bruins that Jagr was the best player on the ice. Lol

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or