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Jagr: Remember when I saved the Penguins?

May 6, 2012, 3:54 PM EDT

Jaromir Jagr Getty Images

While Jaromir Jagr has been pretty quiet against the Devils in this series, that’s not stopping him from reflecting on the past.

After this morning’s skate, Jagr talked with reporters about how a goal he scored against New Jersey as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1999 was the biggest in his career and one he believes helped save the franchise. Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger relays Jagr’s tale of Game 6 heroism.

“I came back and I tied it with a minute and a half to go and then I scored in overtime. That was probably my best game ever, I would say. My most important for sure. I’ll probably never score a goal that important. Probably if I hadn’t scored, the team wouldn’t be in Pittsburgh right now. (Sidney) Crosby would be in Kansas City.”

Denying Sidney Crosby stardom in Pittsburgh for barbecue greatness in Kansas City is probably all for the best when you think about it. Still, you’ve got to think if Mario Lemieux still talks to Jagr he might be looking to help him out with his vision of history.

  1. dawglb - May 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Joe, still haven’t found a job yet?

    • kitshky - May 6, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      …between you and Joe, he’s the only getting paid to be here.

      And if you don’t like the article, shouldn’t your disdain be for the guy who said whatever it is you didn’t like reading?

  2. danphipps01 - May 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    “Hey, remember when I scored clutch goals in a playoff series? Sure would be nice if I was doing a little more of that now, wouldn’t it?”

  3. killerpgh - May 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Since the Penguins survived your quitting on the team and then demanding to be traded I think it’s a little cocky to say the team would be in Kansas City without you.

  4. alexb64 - May 6, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    What’s Mario gonna say to him? “It wasn’t your goal! It was me threatening to move the team to KC in the first place!”

  5. napoleonblownapart6887 - May 6, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    There’s no denying the impact that Double J had on the Penguins. He will always be remembered (at least by reasonable fans) as one of the greatest to ever don a Penguins sweater.

    But to say that him scoring that goal or any goal saved the franchise in Pittsburgh is at best misguided and at worst downright silly. The reason the Pens are still in Pittsburgh is because of THE GREATEST Penguin, and it wasn’t because of any goals he scored.

    • danphipps01 - May 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      No kidding. I don’t want to disrespect one of the highest-scoring players ever, but seriously, can the ego crap until you can manage to contribute to the series you’re presently losing, alright? You can talk about how great you used to be later, Jaromir. Try showing a little more of that talent in the here and now first.

  6. phillyphan83 - May 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    funny…I don’t ever remember the Flyers almost leaving town :-)

    • ematusko - May 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      They still like to throw in your face that they’ve one 1 more cup, but fail to realize that we’ve won almost 300 more total games and have a commanding lead of the head to head match up. If Pgh wasn’t terrible for about 5 years then they wouldn’t have the 3rd cup, thanks to Andre fluery, Crosby, and Malkin.

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - May 6, 2012 at 7:11 PM

        And if the Queen had balls she would be King. The Penguins were bad for a number of years and made the right selections to improve their club. What’s wrong with that?

      • crosberries - May 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        When you get to watch your team win a Stanley cup during your lifetime you let me know if you care how it was won. Let me tell you it’s pretty amazing and something you’ll always remember.

      • ematusko - May 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        We will. You’re fortunate your team was so horrendous that you were able to luck into 3 top 2 picks in successive years. Also fortunate that your fair-weather fan base decided to start showing up again when you lucked into these picks.

      • ematusko - May 7, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        @napoleon, nothing is wrong at all. I would just be thankful that my team lucked into the right draft picks. We’ll lose this series for sure, but we’ll be better in the long run. Keep in mind that your superstar is one pop away from being out of the league, and it will be very difficult to also keep Malkin and Staal. We’re a few players, and some maturation, away from being right in the hunt for the next 5-10 years.

    • fbothharbaughs - May 7, 2012 at 5:57 AM

      funny… almost no one remembers the last time Philly won the cup….

    • pbhatesphilly - May 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Too bad!

  7. friedberg7 - May 6, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Why is Philadelphia concerned with the Penguins? Shouldn’t they be concerned with the Devils?

    • dmfc1112 - May 6, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      Jagr was talking about how he came up large against the DEVILS. Maybe it’s just his way of putting the focus on him and taking it off of Giroux and company??? It’s a common tactic in sports.

  8. dmfc1112 - May 6, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    The Pens made the right selections?? Haha. What tough choices they made! picking #1(sid and MAF) and #2(malkin). I’m pretty sure the majority of armchair GMs wouldn’t have screwed that up.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - May 6, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      What is your point? That the Pens recent success should be downgraded because they drafted good players in the NHL draft? I try to take as dispassionate a view of my team as possible, but this argument makes absolutely no sense to me. The Pens were a really good team and then lost a lot of their great players to free agency and age. When this occurred they naturally were not as successful and were able to take advantage of the draft to create a new, young core of talent. What is so strange or damning about that?

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - May 6, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      May I also remind you that they traded up to take Fleury… So it wasn’t just a matter of making the selections as you would make it believe.

    • m1k3g - May 7, 2012 at 4:25 AM

      You’re probably right.

      Maybe you should go ask Leonsis how he feels about choosing Ovechkin over Malkin at this point.

    • dtob79 - May 7, 2012 at 6:23 AM

      Man you are totally right! I hate when teams take credit for having top draft choices and becoming successful, since it’s not like the choices were hard! It really annoyed me when Ottawa would take credit for having such an awesome team after drafting Yashin (2), Daigle (1), Bonk (3), Berard (1), and Phillips (1)! I mean, they were just handed all this great talent with 5 straight years of top 3 picks and won all kinds of Cups after that…

  9. bagjr387 - May 6, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    him saying “remember when” is just him admitting that he isnt the player he used to be. not even close

  10. travishenryskid - May 6, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Well he’s right…

  11. phillyphan83 - May 6, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Napoleon, the point is that the best franchises are always competitive and don’t have to tank it every few years to get competitive again.

    • crosberries - May 6, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      Or you could measure it in championships

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - May 6, 2012 at 9:39 PM

      Two things – first, no one is good forever, save maybe the Wings but I would argue that they are the exception not the rule. Secondly, the notion that the team ‘tanked’ is stupid. They were a second round playoff team for quite sometime and on a number of occasions they mortgaged their future to make moves. Well eventually you have to pay the piper and that came with several difficult years for the Pens – the only silver lining being the opportunity to draft early and often. Look at almost any team and you’ll see that there have been periods of bad performance. Your own Flyers in the early 90s for instance.
      To chastise the Penguins, or any team that’s been around for that long, for having a few bad years is silly and unreasonable. I know you have a healthy disdain for the Pens (as I do for the Flyers) but don’t allow that to influence your logic.

    • jpelle82 - May 7, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      you have to win to be competitive and philly hasnt won jack in a long time. i’d rather suck for a few years and have a chance to rebuild and win again than be mediocre every year and never win anything.

    • pbhatesphilly - May 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      phillyphan83 you are such a jag off! I may be wrong but in my life time the pens have won three cups and lost in game 6 in another final. You freaking moron is that not better than being “competitive” every year (questionable) but going home early EVERY year. Keep reaching for the stars.

  12. danphipps01 - May 6, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Aaaaand look who came up short. *Again.*

    If I were Laviolette I’d be wondering if I had any healthy scratches I could call up who might provide a little more work ethic than Jagr is. Then again, the whole team looked lazy tonight. Giroux looked hot for a while in the first, but when a team manages less than 25 shots in a must-win game, they really don’t deserve to have made it this far.

  13. stepasidesue - May 9, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    They should be concerned but, oh yeh, they lost and are out. I think the wine color in the beer stands for the team that sent you home. Spending tomorrow cleaning your golf clubs?

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