Jaromir Jagr no longer wears a "C" on his jersey and was not the poster boy for two Winter Classic games. He's not the main source of media coverage whenever he plays hockey.
Sidney Crosby is.
When Crosby returned from a concussion to play his first game of the 2011-12 NHL season, all hockey coverage focused on his return.
NHL Network's On the Fly highlight show turned into watch every single thing Crosby did last night instead of being the usual here is what happened in the NHL last night.
The simple reason why, Crosby has the highest points per game average in the NHL since entering the league after the 2004-05 lockout. For this reason, he's regarded by some (and nearly all of Pittsburgh) as the best hockey player in the world.
For many others, Crosby is indeed a great hockey player, but personality issues (snobbish immaturity) make him something to be ignored.
One of those people who would rather ignore Crosby is the former Penguins star and NHL legend Jagr, who now plays for the cross-state rival Philadelphia Flyers.
"There is a lot of talk now about Sidney Crosby and what he’s been doing on the ice. Some give it a lot of thought, others less. And I am a guy who does not care at all, I take no notice. He does harm only to himself."
The issues Jagr refers to include Crosby's reaction to going down 3-0 in the first round series against Philadelphia.
Not only did Crosby take cheap actions in a fight against Claude Giroux, but handled losing the game slightly more maturely than a five-year-old who couldn't get an ice cream.
At a stoppage in play, Philadelphia's Jake Voracek was bending over to pick up one of his gloves from the ice. Crosby swatted the glove away from Voracek with his stick.
After the game Crosby said "I don't like (Voracek). [reporter: Why?] Because I don't like him. I don't like any guy on their team."
I don't like him because I don't like him. Grade school logic from an NHL captain.
Crosby added, "Whether people are embarrassed by us or people are disappointed, that can't change our mindset going into tomorrow."
Does that mean if Pittsburgh is on the verge of losing again in Game 4, they're going to start taking cheap shots? That appeared to be the mindset for Game 3.
Jagr had a similar take on not changing, saying
"Personally, I don’t care about the 'Crosby issue'. I even don’t know what newspapers have written about it. I believe we shouldn’t care; we should stick to our game and try to maintain the same excellent team spirit we have enjoyed throughout the regular season. There is no point in changing."
Both Crosby and Jagr made comments about not changing, only Jagr's team is up 3-0 in the series and none of the Flyers are facing possible suspensions.
Jagr addressed the situation with class and maturity, something an NHL captain should do.
If Crosby wants to turn the Penguins' season around, he may want to start acting like a leader instead of a child.
Jason Sapunka covers the NHL and Philadelphia Flyers. He is available on Twitter for updates, analysis and commentary.
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