New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Three

Report: Chris Pronger travels to Buffalo, but won’t play in Game 3


If you listen to some segments of the Philadelphia Flyers fan base, there’s a Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Brian Boucher debate that rivals the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob campaigns among “Twilight” fans.

(That being said, I don’t expect someone to make a pro-Boucher argument because he’s “sensitive and protective,” although I guess the latter might apply to the Flyers’ net.)

Tim Panaccio writes that the early indication is that Philadelphia will go with Boucher for Game 3 on Monday night, but honestly, this debate wouldn’t hold the same importance if one player could get healthy. That would be hulking defenseman Chris Pronger, an experienced and intimidating player who frequently turns decent goalies to good ones and makes good ones great.

Pronger traveled with the team to ice-cold Buffalo, but Panaccio reports that he won’t be available for Game 3. Pronger reportedly won’t give another interview until he plays in a game, so expect little more than cursory updates about the game-changing defenseman. He’s doubtful for Game 4 as well, which indicates that we will need to take a wait-and-see approach while the team lists him as day-to-day. If he gives himself an unexpected green light, however, we’ll let you know.

If you ask me, Pronger was the top reason this team managed to succeed while Boucher and Michael Leighton exchanged the starting job (and time on the injured list) in the 2010 playoffs. The Sabres wouldn’t necessarily be a pushover with him in the lineup, but it will be an even greater challenge to best them without Pronger on the ice.

It wouldn’t be surprising if their netminders end up looking quite human in the process, whether the team hands the torch to Boucher, Bobrovsky or even Leighton.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.