He’s pushing 40 so maybe it’s understandable that Jaromir Jagr is actually starting to feel his age.
The Flyers forward has missed eight games this year because of injury and he hasn’t played since reinjuring his groin on Jan. 21.
“The past seven years I didn’t miss a game,” Jagr said Tuesday after the Flyers morning skate in preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. “Maybe I just don’t know how to deal with injuries. Maybe I’m too impatient. I just want to play every opportunity I get.”
Jagr said he expects to play against the Jets, although coach Peter Laviolette was less certain telling reporters he has yet to decide his lineup.
Jagr signed a one-year with the Flyers last summer after playing in Russia for a couple of years. He turns 40 on Feb. 15 and while bothered by injuries has not had a bad season so far. He has 12 goals and 22 assists, putting him third on the Flyers behind Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.
Jagr said that his main individual goal now is to help Giroux win the scoring title, something Jagr has won five times in his career. Giroux is currently second with 55 points, three back of Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin.
“You need always help from the teammates,” Jagr said referring to Giroux. “There’s no more Gretzkys in the league.”
He added that, “if I play with him and if I play [the way]I can play, I think he’s going to win it.”
Jagr laughed when asked if maybe he has been getting injured because he has trained too hard. “No. Compared with what we did in Russia this is holiday for me. It’s just the mentality they’ve got. They don’t have as many games but they practices twice a day.”
The Jets and Flyers have had some wild games this year. Winnipeg won the first match 9-8 last October, in a game that saw four goaltender changes and two four-goal leads erased. The Jets won again 6-4 in November.
“I let in 11 goals the last two games against Flyers and I got two wins,” joked Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who played most of the first game. “So that’s very interesting.”
Pavelec added that “I hope I don’t play the wild game again like we did last couple of games against them. We have to play a different way against those guys than we did the last two games.”
Laviolette was also shaking his head Tuesday at the last two meetings between these teams.
“I don’t have a reason why. I’m sure we made mistakes, lots of them. There’s no different game plan when we play Winnipeg. We don’t do anything differently.”