Malkin Versus Jagr - Part 1

While watching the Stanley Cup playoffs this year I starting to see visions of the early 90's with Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr because of the play of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. In a previous post I talked about Crosby’s leadership and how that reminded me of Mario in the heat of battle. Today I will try to compare Jagr to Malkin. Both players struggled with the English language early in their careers but both players found a place deep within our Penguin hearts.

The following five questions were sent to some fellow Penguin fans and bloggers to try to decide which superstar is better. I'm going to start with the first two today to whet your appetite.

  1. Who is more a fan favorite?
  2. Which goal is better? Jagr’s 1992 Stanley cup final goal or Geno’s backhand vs. Carolina.
  3. Which is more popular? Jagr’s hair or Geno’s parents.
  4. Who was a better team leader?
  5. Which superstar is more capable of dominating a game?
- The Panel -


This actually is a difficult question to decipher simply because there is no decisive way to hear everyone’s point of view. I can only go by my own opinion and the opinions of my cohorts. Therefore I decided I'd put this question to our panel. Honestly I really expected varying views, but what I got was actually a landslide.

Yahoo Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy - Malkin

"With the Internet and YouTube age, being able to listen to any Malkin interview (which are always hilarious) as well as the presence of his parents in the stands this season, it's obvious that Geno is so very much beloved in Pittsburgh."

EMPTY NETTERS's Seth Rorabaugh - Malkin

"He's an MVP candidate after three seasons."

FACEOFF FACTOR's Matt Bodenschatz -Malkin

"Jagr was quite popular in his day, but has since fallen out of favor with Pittsburgh fans."

Penguins Experience - Malkin
Their situations are very similar. They both lived in the shadow of huge, iconic players. Jagr with Lemieux and Malkin with Crosby. Jagr ended up becoming captain and the team's main star when Lemieux was in his first retirement. Even though Jagr was booed after he left the Pens, at the height of his time in Pittsburgh he was the man. However, that Malkin three years into his career is a bigger star than Jagr was at the same point in his. Jagr always had a bit of an attitude. People may try, but you don't find that sort of thing with Geno. He wins here.

PENS UNIVERSE's Damian Romano - Tie

"Tie. I think just as Geno lives in the shadow of the "face of the franchise" (and NHL), he gets about the same attention from the fans that Jagr did under Lemieux initially."

While the overwhelming view of our panel shows that Malkin is the fan favorite, I can’t help wonder if the reason is because of Jagr’s exit from Pittsburgh. Much like Marion Hossa’s single quote tarnished his legacy with the 'Burgh, Jagr’s quote still lies deep within the fan base of this city.


:: Here are the video's for you viewing pleasure ::

Yahoo Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy - Jagr

"While Malkin's beautiful backhand past Cam Ward was pretty on the eyes, you can't beat Jaromir Jagr undressing the Chicago Blackhawks for that spectacular goal in the 92 SCF."

Empty Netters's Seth Rorabaugh - Jagr
"He went through a really good team in a Cup final. Carolina is no where as good as the 1992 Blackhawks."

Faceoff Factor's Matt Bodenschatz - Jagr
"To me, Jagr's goal was a direct result of stick handling genius and incredible vision. Malkin's, on the other hand, was a dominant behind-the-net sequence that put him in position to take a low percentage shot -- one in which he got lucky. All superstars need good fortune to be great, but in these isolated examples, I'll take Jagr's vision over Malkin's luck."

Penguins Experience - Jagr
"Geno's was very, very pretty, but Jagr deked around most of the Blackhawks team to score. It's an awesome thing to watch even today."

Pens Universe's Damian Romano - Jagr
" I have to say I still like Jagr's better. Not many people can dangle through 3-4 guys and net a backhander through traffic the way Jagr did, being only 20 mind you. Malkin's is a very close second; we wont see many goals like that again...or will we?"

I am actually surprised but panel on this one, Jagr's goal was so terrific but in my mind it was a bad goaltender effort by Ed Belfour. Malkin's goal was simply spectacular because of the surprising shot that he took on Cam Ward. Lucky as both goals were, I think Malkin's had just a little more skill because of the backhand top shelf.

To be continued....


Anonymous said...

"Some dudes probably hated Jagr in the '90s 'cause their girlfriends thought of him while they made love."

Vintage PensBlog.

Murph said...

When will the rest of the questions be up?

Will Eller said...


Should be out next week, getting everything together this weekend. Thanks for reading!!!

Anonymous said...

"While the overwhelming view of our panel shows that Malkin is the fan favorite, I can’t help wonder if the reason is because of Jagr’s exit from Pittsburgh."

Wow, really? How insightful there, tips. You mean the whole "dying alive" thing might have something to do with the fans' dislike for Jagr?

Andy Rummel said...

The shame of the 'dying alive' commentary is that Jagr was referring to his scoring slump at the time. But somehow in the media it morphed into him hating Pittsburgh, and it's never been the same since.

Anonymous said...

It's WHET your appetite, not WET. Unless of course you want to water down our appetite and kinda kill the moment.

Damian Romano said...

Very good sir. Typo's come and go 'round here.

Anonymous said...

Short memory around here with no love for Jagr. Seem to forget Jagr was the best in the world. Malkin might not be the best on his team.

Anonymous said...

Fan favorite, definitely biased due to Jagrs departure from Pittsburgh. Amazing how quickly the Pens fans forgot how much they loved this guy while he was producing scoring titles and helping produce cup wins. Ridiculous. Who added the levels to the melon arena mario and jaromir. Come on now.. No possible way that a popularity contest for these two could possibly be judged adequately. Want to talk about amazing "lucky" goals lets not forget about jagrs goal: being halled down and hitting the puck out of the air top shelf again the flyers while sliding on his back, any hockey player knows that beats a spin o rama anyday in level of difficulty.

Anonymous said...

You cannot compare the two. Lemieux was way more established than Crosby when Jagr came into the league. Plus, no offense Sid, Lemiuex is only matched by the Great One. But I'm rambling. They are essentially two different players. The ability of Jagr to dangle and score was unbeatable. You compare Jagr's stats to Geno's stats and there you have it. Jagr was a better scorer, but Geno is better at passing. We have only seen the beginning of Geno though. In time, as Geno and Sid grow, the Pens will become like the Lemieux and Jagr show all over again. At the moment, I honestly believe Geno is the best player in the NHL. The way he carried the team when Sid was injured was amazing. He should be the face of the NHL. Sadly, until he speaks fluent English, Geno will play in Sid's shadow. As a Pens fan, I miss Jagr. How quickly we forget what that man gave to our team. The dying alive incident was regrettable, but I can forgive him for that. Jagr and Mario were the ones who made me love hockey. The elegance in their games, the effortless dangles and seemingly impossible goals - this was Pens hockey in the 90s. I suppose being traded to our rivals, the Caps, made things worse. Jagr, if you're listening, I don't know if I speak for all Pens fans, or any for that matter, but I want you back in Pittsburgh. I think the way the fans act towards you is not in hatred, but rather it is the regret and disappointment of what could have been. "The star who shines twice as bright, lasts half as long" - and Jagr shone so brightly. Jagr has expressed interest in coming back to the Burgh. I for one would welcome him back in open arms. Whether or not he is willing to take a backseat to the Sid and Geno show is another story. Seriously, just writing this makes me wish I was still watching 90s Pens. JAGR SAVED OUR TEAM! They were thinking of relocating the team to Portland but Jagr led us to the Playoffs. If Jagr could come back, he could teach Sid and Geno the ways of Hockey. With Jagr and Lemiuex as their mentors, there is no limit to their greatness. He brought so much to this team, all ruined by one comment. I hope all you Pens fans out there can forgive Jagr for what happened, and if he comes back to the Pens, welcome him in open arms and accept him for who he was and who he will always be; a hockey great.


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