Claude Girouxs line with Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr has fallen on hard times lately.
Since the beginning of January, their line has just three goals over seven games, two of which Jagr missed with a groin injury.
The real concern is the catalyst himselfGiroux. He has just one goal in his last 10 games while Jagr is still not 100 percent healthy.
Giroux says he needs to bear down and play better. Jagr has a more philosophical approach to what his linemate is going through.
No matter how good you are, you are going to go through this, Jagr said. I was pretty good and went through it. When you are not the top scorer, nobody really cares about it. You dont score for 10 games? Nobody knows that.
But when youre a top guy, they expect you to score every day. I dont worry about it. Nobody should worry about it. The good thing about this team is when our line doesnt score, were still winning.
Thats because the Flyers have gotten scoring from elsewhere in their lineup, even as far down as the fourth unit.
Our third and fourth lines play good and thats a great sign, Jagr said. Hopefully, we can get back on track.
Tonight, the struggling Minnesota Wild visits the Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers play three of their next four games at home. Jagr had some advice for Giroux recently.
If someone had told him after half the season hed be leading the league and if anybody would tell you guys that, you would take it, Jagr said. Nobody would say, ah, we dont know. And he was leading.
And because he was playing so good, you kind of taste it. And he liked it and he dont want to lose it. You get tired a little bit, off your game a little bit, its going to happen. You play 25 minutes a game. The schedule is tough.
The good players always find a way to score even when they dont play good. That is the difference between great players and average players. When average players slump, they dont score.
The good players in a slump, they find a wayI dont know how they do it, but they find a way to score one goal here or assist there. And when they are on? Four points or five points.
Jagr admitted that the Flyers overall team game has slipped and thats hurting the club as much as the lack of scoring from the top line.
We didnt play very well the last five games and we still could have won five games and on one hand, thats a good thing, he said.
We could be a lot better and we know that. Were working on it. The good thing about it is we still won more than 50 percent of our games.
The Flyers are 4-3 in January, but could just as easily be 5-2.
Ilya Bryzgalov will start against the Wild on Tuesday night.Zac Rinaldo, who was cut in the face at Mondays practice, was not at the morning skate. He is day to day with an upper-body injury.Because Rinaldo is out, look for Jody Shelley to re-enter the lineup. He has not played since Dec. 23 at the Rangers.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com