Jaromir Jagr playing like a kid again
SOCHI, Russia -- Jaromir Jagr turns 42 on Saturday.
Or at least that's what it says on his birth certificate.
It's certainly not what we see on the ice. He looked downright fantastic here Friday in a 4-2 win by his Czech Republic over Latvia."I don't get old, man. I am alive. God help me,'' he responded to Larry Lage of The Associated Press in the interview area mixed zone.
Jagr scored his second goal of the tournament, skating on the top line and acting as though these might be his second-to-last Olympics, not his last.
"He's our best player," Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik said. "It doesn't matter how old he is.''
Latvia's head coach also weighed in.
"He's like a fine bottle of wine; he gets better with age," said Ted Nolan, who is also the head coach of Buffalo Sabres. "I had the privilege of watching him in North America for a number of years. As I told someone before, he looks like a ballerina on ice. He's smooth, he's slick. He's a world-class player and today he proved how good he is again.''
Those who have covered Jagr over the years understand there are days when he feels like playing along media-wise and other days when he doesn't. Which is fine, he has earned that right.
This was an "on'' day.
I actually got more fun just standing behind the scrum and watching Jagr play along to the questions.
Question from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet: "Jaromir, what needs to happen for your team to win gold here?"
"We have to probably win at least four more games," Jagr said. "So no big deal."
Question from a Russian reporter: "Jaromir, are you going to score a goal every game?''
All said with that trademark smile.
Oh, Jaromir, don't ever change dude.