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Jaromir Jagr has meant so much to the Philadelphia Flyers already and he will be the difference of hoisting Lord Stanley and an early (frustrating) playoff exit. I could go on and on about how Jagr impacts this team on and off the ice but I will just mention three things:
1) Jaromir Jagr has been everything to the Flyers powerplay. The team relied on Claude Giroux to enter the neutral zone the past two seasons and the opposition had figured that out. Jagr has taken so much pressure off of Giroux entering the neutral zone as he still has the stick handling and of course the strength to control the puck under pressure.
Once the Flyers are set up they are tough to stop with playmakers like Giroux, Briere, Read, Voracek and Jagr making the defense look silly while Scott Hartnell (down) and Wayne Simmonds park themselves in front of the net.
2) Jagr has made Scott Hartnell useful again. Sir falls a lot already has more goals after 29 games than he did the entire 2009-10 season. He has scored a goal in six straight games (even without Giroux) and so much has to do with the 39-year-old Russian.
Hartnell better get Jagr a really nice Christmas present. This is not to take anything away from Hartnell who plays with the physical side that Philly adores, but how many guys on the Flyers could tap the puck into a wide open net?
3) Claude Giroux has the opportunity (or he did before he got a concussion) to impress one of the all time greats in Jaromir Jagr. How special must it be for a young star like Giroux to show his stuff first hand to a guy that he idolized growing up?
The combo has been lethal all season long and hopefully Giroux will be back on the ice soon to re-kindle the best duo in hockey thus far. Giroux seems like a lock for his second straight All Star game this season, could Jagr be joining him?
It's funny looking back that people were outraged with the signing of Jagr over Ville Leino.
Jagr: 25 points in 25 games. One year deal worth $3.3 million.
Leino: 10 points in 29 games. Six-year deal worth $27 million.
Is Paul Holmgren a genius?