By Finesse (follow me on Twitter)
The impending Pens-Bruins Eastern Conference Finals is not short on story lines, and for our money, none is bigger than the most basic one -- the Bruins are really good, and this should be a great series.
The one that barely registers is the return -- again -- of Jaromir Jagr. There's some consternation, as there always is, about how Pens fans should react and/or "treat" Jagr when he returns.
Read on for our reaction ...
We're coming up on the 12th anniversary of Jagr's trade to the Capitals. Jagr hasn't been on the Penguins since before 9/11. The #1 song on the Billboard chart the week he was traded was Devil's Night by D12. Cats & Dogs was the #1 movie at the box office. Jagr has played 43 regular season games and 11 playoff games against the Pens. He's already played for three of the Pens' biggest rivals, including in the playoffs with two separate teams. The Pens have beaten him in the playoffs and lost to him in the playoffs. Yeah, he picked the Flyers over the Pens in free agency two summers ago, but they also offered him significantly more money than the Pens did.
There's no need at this point to burn a lot of calories thinking about how Pens' fans should treat Jagr, because the answer is easy: like they would anyone else who has Jagr's skill-set.
When Jagr retires, there will be plenty of time to place his time with the Pens in proper historical context. For now, the focus should be on whether Crankshaft can keep pace with Jags on the boards and whether Mark Eaton can get his stick in the passing lanes on the PK.