September 24, 2011
The last time Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr(notes) scored any sort of NHL goal was May 1, 2008 when he potted a pair against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.
After spending the last three seasons with Avangard Omsk of the KHL, Jagr made his NHL return last night during a 3-1 preseason win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Playing alongside rookie Brayden Schenn(notes) and James van Riemsdyk(notes), Jagr started strong netting an assist and scoring the Flyers' second goal of the night within the span of 52 seconds and inspiring the Flyers' website to use a Maroon 5 "Moves like Jagr" pun:
Jagr told Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer after the game that the smaller-sized NHL rinks will take time getting used to again:
"It's two different games with the same rules," Jagr said before the game. "You've got to skate a lot more [in Russia], and here most of the guys are a lot bigger, and most of the teams play the trap, and the style is more aggressive."
The formerly mulleted superstar was harder on himself after the game than head coach Peter Laviolette. Jagr noted he wants his skating to improve with two weeks until the season opener against the Boston Bruins.
Jagr did get some power play time last night against Detroit, a place in the Philadelphia lineup many are expecting him to be most valuable at. At age 39 and trying to re-adjust to the smaller surface, the 19th ranked power play (16.6-percent) in the league last season could receive an infusion of offensive should Jagr be able to maintain himself over the course of the 82-game schedule.