The Flyers have been playing some fantastic hockey of late and now they’re that much closer to getting a key player back in the lineup. Defenseman Chris Pronger is practicing hard with the team this week and is improving quickly. His improvement has gotten so good of late that it’s possible he’ll suit up for Philly on Thursday night against Ottawa.
Pronger won’t be available for their game tomorrow night against Washington, but after visiting with the doctors on Wednesday, that’ll determine whether he’s able to go on Thursday. If he’s not ready by then, the weekend awaits with a game at home against New Jersey on Saturday and NBC’s Game of the Week on Sunday in a Stanley Cup rematch in Chicago against the Blackhawks.
With Pronger out, the Flyers have gotten defensive replacement action from both Oskars Bartulis and Matt Walker. Pronger being out of the lineup since mid-December has done little to slow them down as they’re atop the Eastern Conference with 63 points. With Pronger back in the lineup, however, expect goalies Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky to be the benefactors of his presence.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16