Henry Orth The Hockey Writers
Crosby Passes Jagr but Who’s Better?
Sidney Crosby tallied three points in a 6-3 Pittsburgh Penguins win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night to overtake the one and only Jaromir Jagr on the Penguins’ all-time points list. With 1082 points and counting, Crosby sits solely as the 2nd leading scorer in franchise history, trailing only the legendary Mario Lemieux. It is another major milestone for “Sid the Kid” in a career that has had many.
Crosby’s meteoric rise to the upper echelons of NHL Success has propelled the Penguins into perennial Cup contenders. Throughout his ever-unfolding career, including three Stanley Cups, Crosby has received an abundance of awards and accolades that further cement his legacy as one of the greatest Penguins and NHLers of all-time. But is he better than Jagr?
Sid the Kid vs. Father Time
With Crosby and Jagr situated so close in all-time Penguins points it seems only natural to compare their contributions and legacies to decide, once and for all, who is really the penultimate Penguin?
Let’s be clear about one thing. Lemieux is and will always be the ultimate Penguin, the Emperor Penguin if you will. Super Mario’s greatness extends far beyond the reaches of record books and sold out stadiums, and Lemieux’s legendary legacy will continue to grow as an owner and thanks to his involvement with Penguins franchise.
Before making a surely controversial call as to whether it’s Crosby or Jagr that plays Goose to Super Mario’s Maverick, there’s one thing to note.
Jagr is superhuman, an ageless wonder, that is nearly old enough for “Sid the Kid to” be, well, his kid. The fact that at 45, Jaromir is still playing at hockey’s highest level, and not drinking Corona’s while working on his golf swing is simply astonishing. That being said, there’s no denying that Jagr’s production has declined dramatically in the latter portion of a career that has spanned nearly three decades. In fairness, I’ll only dissect Jagr’s game during his tenure with the Penguins, which was without a doubt the most productive era of his incredible career.
Points Aren’t the Only Thing
First, the hair. Jagr has the best head of hockey hair, or “sickest flow” as the kids call it, that the Penguins and the NHL (sorry, Peter Forsberg) have ever seen. From the miraculous and marvelously curled mullet that could barely be contained by his signature JOFA helmet to his current cut featuring luscious locks that look more at home in a Maybelline commercial than on an NHL ice-rink, there’s no denying Jagr has some of the best hair in hockey history. “Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s his Czech genes?” That pun was hair-able.
Meanwhile, Crosby for the majority of his career has worn the haircut of a second-rate, small-town accountant that keeps telling himself that he might have made it all the way to Wall Street if only he’d tried a little harder in school.
Jagr obviously outclasses Crosby in the hockey hair department, but when it comes to comparing their overall impact on the Penguins franchise in more traditional ways, things aren’t nearly so “cut and dry.” (I promise, I’m done with the puns.)
Although, Jagr reached his 1079 career points with the Penguins in 27 fewer games than Crosby (833 vs 806 games), there’s no denying that the NHL was a dramatically different place in the early 1990s, an era when goalie pads were barely wider than a phonebook and in which Jagr scored the majority of his points. He along with Lemieux helped lead Pittsburgh to consecutive Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992 during some of the highest scoring seasons the NHL has ever seen.
The Things That Time Defines
Crosby’s more modern accomplishments are all the more impressive, as players in today’s NHL, especially the goaltenders, are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever, and wear equipment that is far more advanced than the gear of yesteryear.
That being said, Crosby’s 1,082 points and counting, combined with his abundance of awards and accolades, which include, but are not limited to, three Cups, two Conn Smythe Trophies, two Hart Trophies, and seven All-Star selections make Crosby the second most important and impactful player in Penguins history behind Mario Lemieux.
Crosby might have some of the most basic hair in hockey, but what he lacks in locks he more than makes up for with his unparalleled playmaking abilities and leadership skills that have afforded the Penguins the opportunity to become the first time back-to-back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions in 30 years. There is no doubt that the legend and legacy of Jagr will surely stand the test of time, especially as he continues to play at hockey’s highest level and add to a point-total that only trails “The Great One”.
However, when it comes to Penguins history, Crosby’s many career milestones, and his ever-increasing point total, combined with his unfaltering leadership, make Sid the Kid the obvious choice as the second most important Penguin of all time!
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