He’s been an NHL superstar since before many of his teammates were even born, but that hasn’t stopped the immortal Jaromir Jagr from leaving his mark on the NHL.
The 43 year-old veteran has seen, done and won nearly everything that a hockey player possibly can, but even he is still finding ways to break new ground for himself as he continues to lead the young, upstart Florida Panthers ever-closer to an underdog playoff berth.
Jagr had two goals, including the classic beauty below, as the 10th place Panthers gained two huge points of ground on the 9th place Ottawa Senators by beating the Sens 4-2 on Sunday evening.
That’s vintage Jagr, right there.
The Czech hockey legend now has 12 points in 14 games since the Panthers acquired him from the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline. With the win on Sunday Florida moves within one point of the Senators and four points of the 8th place Boston Bruins, with six games and 12 possible points still remaining.
The Panthers were recently hit with the news that top forward Nick Bjugstad will miss the rest of the season due to back surgery, which could have been a crippling loss, but Jagr is doing everything in his power, both on and off the ice, to ensure that his new team stays alive.
“It’s our line’s job to score goals and luckily we did it,” Jagr said after the game. “This was a Game 7 for us and now we have to get ready for the next Game 7 against Boston (on Tuesday).”
Florida is a team that relies heavily on young talent, spearheaded by players like Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, but the wealth of experience that Jagr can pass down to his new teammates will have a long-lasting impact, regardless of where the Panthers finish in the standings.
“He’s been tremendous for our team. Even when he comes into the room after practice, he is helping the younger guys like myself, showing us where to be on the ice.” said teammate Jimmy Hayes in this article by the Toronto Star.
The Panthers are on a nice little run at the best possible of times, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. It’s going to be a wild, intense, six-game dash to the playoff finish line from here, but considering Jagr has made magic happen for his entire career it’s going to be fascinating to watch and see if he can do it once again.
Derek Neumeier primarily covers the Dallas Stars, but also other various topics related to the sport of hockey. A Journalism graduate of Mount Royal University, Derek also writes for Defending Big D, and has done previous work with the Edmonton Oilers as a communications intern and Hockey Canada as a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter at @Derek_N_NHL