I hate seeing Jagr smile in that jersey as much as the rest of you, but the Flyers and the rest of the teams at the top of the NHL standings have been doing a lot of smiling when they play against the Penguins.
In an article by Alan Robinson of NHL.com, he points out some hard hitting stats.
The Penguins are 16-10-3 without Crosby this season, and 39-23-8 over the last two seasons, but being without their best player certainly seems to be hurting them against the best teams. They are 1-5-0 against the top five teams in the Eastern Conference and a combined 3-7-1 against the top five in both conferences, based on the standings going into Thursday night's play.Yikes. You have to believe Bylsma, Shero and Mario are keeping tabs on how they're stacking up against these conference leading teams. There's still over half a season to be played, but the Pens can't keep losing these pivotal points. You know it could come down to the end of the year and we're on the 4/5 seed threshold with home ice in the balance. Then we'll think back to those missed points early in the season.
A new year is coming. Let's hope it brings us some wins and health.