"Don't forget, the age difference between me and G, it's like 20 years," said Jagr, who is really only 16 years older than Giroux. "And, how I play hockey and how he plays hockey, it's totally different hockey. You know, hockey in 20 years has changed a lot."
Maybe so, but when Jagr and Giroux add Scott Hartnell to the mix, the chemistry experiment produces completely different lab results, such as a combined 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists over the past four games between the three of them.
"He's playing a different game than we do, but we need that guy on that line because he's going to the net and he's playing very good on the boards," Jagr said of Hartnell after Philadelphia's 5-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night. "To have a good line you need three guys to mix together, everybody has to bring something special."
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette put Giroux and Jagr together at the start of the season, but he was searching for the left wing that would make the line work. He tried James van Riemsdyk there to start the season, but when that experiment dried up, Hartnell got his turn.
They were together against St. Louis on Oct. 22, but got shut out in a 4-2 loss.
Laviolette was undeterred. He kept Giroux, Jagr and Hartnell together for the next game against Toronto.
Hartnell and Jagr each had 2 goals and an assist. Giroux had 2 assists. The Flyers won, 4-2.
And, now in the last four games, including Saturday's win, Hartnell has 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) and Giroux and Jagr each have 7. Giroux had a team-high 4 points Saturday. Jagr has 5 goals in the last four games.
"It's pretty simple when you're playing with guys like that, you go to the net and good things will happen," Hartnell said. "It's fun playing with these guys."
Laviolette said Hartnell has been the difference maker on the line, just as he was for the last two seasons when he played a similar role with Ville Leino and Danny Briere.
"He's provided some space out there," Laviolette said. "He goes to the net and the other two are really creative, and it's a good mix, a good combination.
"G and Jaromir have been together pretty much the whole time, but finding the right fit, they do seem to have some chemistry out there. Hartsie is playing really well, Jaromir has been impressive since he's been here, and Claude has been outstanding."