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Jagr's Secret to Success

Clean living and hard work secrets to Jagr's success

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 1:15 PM ET / News
By Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com
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Jagr\'s Secret to Success
What's allowed Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr to remain an effective player in the NHL as he reaches his 40th birthday?

Clean living, he says -- no smoking or drinking alcohol -- but he does admit to one vice.

"I like Diet Coke," he says with a laugh. "I even drink it during a game. I like Diet Coke. No vitamins, nothing ... Diet Coke."

Oh, if it were only that easy.

JAGR TURNS 40 YEARS OLD

Back in NHL Jagr remains a force at 40

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
The mullet may be gone and the hair thinner, but Jaromir Jagr is proving in his comeback with the Flyers that he's still a force ... FULL ARTCLE ›

Hard work on and off the ice has been a hallmark of Jagr's career since he first arrived in North America.

"We had to kick him off the ice almost every day," Joe Mullen, a teammate when Jagr first arrived as a rookie in Pittsburgh and currently an assistant coach with the Flyers, told NHL.com. "He just loved to stay out there and just work."

That holds true today, as Jagr occasionally will skate and work out at the Flyers' practice site late at night; in fact, getting 24-hour access to the practice facility was a requirement in his contract.

He joked earlier this season that he enjoyed the late-night ice time because "the ice is free."

In reality, it's something Jagr said he's done at previous stops in his NHL career, and something he feels he has to do now that he's turning 40.

"You have to practice a lot harder. I know that," he said. "You've got to love the game so much that even if you're tired, you still have to go there. Sometimes I don't want to go run at night, but I know if I don't do it, tomorrow I'm going to feel worse than I did the night before. That's what's pushing me.

"When you don't fear anything and you think everything is going to be OK, then what's the reason to do it? When there's fear that you're going to feel a lot worse, that's pushing you. And I know if I don't do it today, tomorrow's not going to get better. There may be a five-percent chance you're going to feel better (by taking a day off), but there’s a 95-percent chance you're going to feel a lot worse ... and you still have to do it the next day anyway. I understand that, and it's tough to do that, especially when you struggle. You have to have the will to do it, even if your body doesn't want to. You still have to push yourself and work even harder. If I'm not able to push myself, I think I'm going to quit. When you feel tired and you don't push yourself, it's time to retire because you're not going to get better. There's no miracles. You're not going to wake up the next day and feel 10 years younger."

Jagr said he has no interest in sticking around in the NHL based on his reputation, saying he'd rather go play in the Czech Republic if he doesn't feel like he can stick with today's NHL players. But he wants to stay at that NHL level, and spends his extra time working to keep his skills as sharp as he can. His off-time activities include skating in a weighted vest or using a weighted stick to work on his puckhandling.

"If you're a (star) player and you want to keep playing like that player and you've been doing things to be that player, you want to keep doing them," he said. "Once you lose it or don't want to do it, you're not going to be the same player. Once you taste something, if you're a good player and work harder than other guys and you can see you're getting better and better ... you kind of fear that once you stop doing that, you're not going to be the same player. That's why you keep doing that, because it's working. I've always had that."

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Gostisbehere 6 1 1 0 2
B. Schenn 6 0 2 2 2
W. Simmonds 6 0 2 -1 2
S. Gagner 6 0 2 1 2
J. Voracek 6 1 0 -1 1
M. Raffl 6 1 0 0 1
R. White 6 1 0 0 1
C. VandeVelde 6 1 0 -1 1
A. MacDonald 6 1 0 0 1
B. Manning 6 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 2 1 0 .981 0.67
S. Mason 0 3 0 .852 4.09
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