PHILADELPHIA - Jaromir Jagr just couldn't help himself.
With everyone else here in the City of Brotherly Shove piling on Sidney Crosby, the beleaguered captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the veteran forward decided to join in the fun.
In a revealing entry on his blog which he provided a link for on Twitter Tuesday, Jagr, who won two Stanley Cup rings as a Penguin, noted that Crosby was doing damage to the way the public is perceiving him these days.
"No matter which way the wind blows, one must stay cool. There's no other way," Jagr wrote. "There is a lot of talk now about Sidney Crosby and what he's been doing on the ice. Some give it a lot of thought, others less. And I am a guy who does not care at all, I take no notice. He does harm only to himself.
"But every man is different, perhaps this helps him get into the game and play better."
Crosby "does harm only to himself." Quite the candid statement from Jagr, isn't it?
This is not the first time Jagr has been critical of Crosby's alleged act.
During a 2008 playoff game between Crosby's Pens and the New York Rangers, Jagr, then a member of the Broadway Blueshirts, allegedly told Sid the Kid to stop diving. That's the account given by a couple of rinkside observers, anyway.
When Crosby was asked by those of us in attendance that day what Jagr had said to him, No. 87 replied: "Just ask him. I wasn't the one talking."
When first approached by reporters about the nature of his comments, Jagr said: "Nothing. Just play hockey. That's all."
Jagr would add later that "I'm not going to tell you. Besides, did it help us? Probably not."
At that time four years ago, Jagr acknowledged that Crosby likely received preferential treatment from the officials because he was the face of the league.
"I don't know if it is right or wrong, but that's the way it is and that's the way it's most of the time been," Jagr said. "I remember when Mario (Lemieux) was here, we were getting some calls. I had more advantage seven years ago (too). They give you more respect. But maybe that's the way it should be."
Back in the day, Jagr was a bit of a loose cannon. Who ever thought he would turn into a calm, cool and collected character, let alone a member of the rival Philadelphia Flyers?
Then again, who ever thought the Flyers would be the most disciplined team in a playoff series?
City of Brotherly Loathe
Here is the type of hostile greeting Crosby and his Penguins teammates can expect in Philly on Wednesday.
About two hours before the opening faceoff of Game 3 on Sunday, QMI colleague Chris Stevenson, former Toronto Sun scribe Scott Burnside (now with ESPN.com) and yours truly pulled into the so-called media parking lot at the Wells Fargo Center, where orange-clad Philly phanatics were tailgating as far as the eye could see.
After finally locating a spot, a fan with lots of tattoos kindly relocated the lawn chairs he and his girlfriend were lounging in so that our vehicle had enough room to fit.
Upon deducting in Sherlock Holmes-like fashion that the three of us were the only ones around wearing ties (and no orange), we were asked if we were journalists.
We nodded in agreement.
"OK," was the response. "Well (f---) Pittsburgh."
It seems "Flyers" isn't the only F-word popular in these parts.
No wonder the Pens decided to head home for a couple of days after their 8-4 loss in Game 3. They probably felt threatened.
And not just by Scott Hartnell either.
Those of us who had penciled in Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury as shoo-ins for the 2014 Canadian Olympic team (if there is one) certainly have been witness to the down side of both their games. That doesn't mean they won't make the roster. But it's certainly been eye opening ... Pens coach Dan Bylsma must shoulder significant responsibility for his team's collapse thus far. At some point, you have to throw firewagon hockey out the window when it's not working and go to a more defensive style ... Believe it or not, even with all those penalties in Game 3, Matt Cooke didn't have even one.