Jagr back on the ice, ready for B's playoff opener

Jagr back on the ice, ready for B's playoff opener
April 30, 2013, 9:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

Jaromir Jagr has experienced plenty in his 41 years of life, but he wasn’t sure he’d ever missed two games because of the flu before.

With the “strongest flu” of his life last week, Jagr missed both weekend games against the Capitals and Senators before getting back onto the Bruins practice ice on Tuesday morning. It actually hit him earlier in the week and he played through it in the games against the Flyers and Lightning before finally agreeing to shut it down for the final two games.

“I feel like [expletive], man,” said Jagr. “It’s the strongest flu I’ve ever had. I couldn’t do anything.”

While it’s of some concern that the right wing still isn’t feeling 100 percent with Game 1 of the playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs set for Wednesday night at TD Garden, it’s expected that Jagr will be back on the third line with Chris Kelly. It’s still up in the air whether it will be Kaspars Daugavins, Rich Peverley or Carl Soderberg potentially skating with them.

“I think Jags is over the flu, so he should be OK,” said Claude Julien. “We’ve had some new faces coming in, Soderberg and then Jags ...Daugavins. We’ve been inserting them in different areas. We know that [Jagr] is a player that we want in our lineup, but he’s missed the last couple of games with flu-like symptoms.

“We would have like to see him play two more games and familiarize himself with our team, but that wasn’t the case. Is it a challenge? It’s a bit of a challenge, but I don’t think there’s any need to see it as a disadvantage.”

On the contrary, Jagr was working in a power-play unit with Zdeno Chara, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic at practice, and showing off the elite skills and rare size and strength that have allowed him to put up nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 11 games since being traded to Boston.

Now it’s time for Jagr to rest up, shake off the flu residue and show everybody in Boston what playoff playmaking is all about.