To what standard does Jaromir Jagr, future first-ballot Hall of Famer, hold himself and his peers? Consider what he had to say after his Florida Panthers’ road game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night:
“I don’t think we had the legs. I don’t think our line played very well. It’s our job to score goals for this team. Coach gave us the opportunity to play together. Our line didn’t do a good job the first period, but we got the legs back. We had a few good shifts, and it helped.”
“It was a tough loss in Tampa Bay. I feel like we outplayed them. We just made some tough mistakes that cost us the game. And just, emotionally, I could tell I was tired. We were on such a high note, we played all the games good and just made bad mistakes.”
“I’ve been here 12 games and, in my opinion, we could’ve won all 12.”
Hmm. Not quite the typical response from someone whose team just won 4-1. Especially when his line scored two goals in 30 seconds, including the game winner. But that never-satisfied mentality has made Jagr the legend he is today. Tuesday’s crushing loss stays with him more than Thursday’s win. A poor first period overshadows a dominant second period. And the hunger to be better inspires those trademark late-night workouts of his.