Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/6/13
Jaromir Jagr is 41 years old. He has two Stanley Cup rings. He’s got piles and piles of trophies and other hardware. He’s made a couple boatloads of money. He’s one of the greatest ever to lace up the skates, and he’ll be enshrined into the Hall of Fame shortly after he finally hangs ‘em up. But if you watched Jagr play Monday night in Game 3 of the Bruins’ first-round matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, you believe the old man was a rookie chasing down his first Cup. Either that, or you might have got a better understanding as to why he’s a legend. Jagr was “vintage Jagr” in Game 3, one of the best players in the building as the Bruins quieted a rowdy Air Canada Centre crowd on the way to a 5-2 win. He may not have filled up the statsheet — although he did have an assist and six shots in 15:18 of ice time — but it was clear to see that he still has at least a little something left. It’s not surprising that Jagr impressed his head coach, either. “It doesn’t matter how old he is, it doesn’t matter how long he’s been in the league, it doesn’t matter how accomplished he is, he’s a real proud competitor,” B’s head coach Claude Julien gushed. “He takes everything at heart.” It hasn’t necessarily been a smooth ride for Jagr since he joined Boston at the trade deadline. Jagr has already seen multiple linemates next to him, and he also battled some pretty gnarly flu-like symptoms in the final weeks of the season and even into the postseason. If Jagr’s play Monday was any indication, he’s starting to feel a lot better. “The fact that he hadn’t been doing as much as he’d like to because of circumstances, he was determined to be a difference-maker tonight and help our team,” Julien continued. “I thought he did a great job. The other two guys [linemates Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley] were a lot more comfortable with him tonight. Talking and practicing together and that kind of stuff certainly helped. I thought he was strong on the puck and I know that every time he has it, they need one or two guys on him to take it away and that means somebody’s open. So he does a great job of that. I thought he was on top of his game tonight.” Credit the Bruins, too, in Jagr’s assimilation to the hockey club. Julien and the B’s haven’t reigned Jagr in at all, and they’re letting Jagr do what he wants offensively. Listening to Julien, though, that sounds like it was a no-brainer decision. “Vintage Jagr in the offensive zone, and that’s what we’ve asked him to do. Do your job in the offensive zone. We haven’t given him any restrictions or anything. He’s good, he knows how to handle the puck and he knows how to make the right plays in the offensive zone. So for him, it’s more of a ‘Be creative the way you always have.’” Even though Jagr isn’t quite the player he was during his prime — that’s probably understating it some — it’s clear on nights like Monday that he still has plenty to offer. That’s especially true for a team like the Bruins whose offense goes dormant from time to time. “He still has a lot of skill,” Julien said. “The only thing he’s lost, and he’ll be the first to tell you, is a little bit of speed. But he hasn’t lost his creativity, he hasn’t lost his hands and he’s strong on the puck. I’ve seen so many times where I thought he lost it, and he gets it back. He doesn’t give it up that easy. He’s a smart player, and he studies the game a lot. He always works within his strengths. He knows what his strengths are and he knows what his weaknesses are, and that’s what good players do. They take advantage of their strengths throughout their whole career.” Very few have done that better than Jagr.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Giants discussing trade for Kam Chancellor

Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III will play some offense

Rutgers dismissed five football players who were arrested

Report: Independent neurologist resigns following RG3 disaster

Fabio Fognini stuns Rafael Nadal in epic match

Report: Patrick Kane’s rape case will soon be heard by grand jury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brady issues statement on Facebook after having suspension lifted

Don Orsillo reportedly asked to lie about being fired by NESN

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wisconsin vs Alabama preview

Tom Brady issues statement on Facebook

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker