Edmonton Oilers v Philadelphia Flyers

Report: Chris Pronger won’t play in Game 5 after all

Earlier today, we speculated that a seemingly successful morning skate meant that Chris Pronger might actually play in Game 5 against the Buffalo Sabres. As it turns out, that practice didn’t go as well as it first seemed, as CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reports that Pronger won’t play tonight after all.

It was mentioned that Pronger was taking slap shots during the morning skate, but Panaccio reports that he was wincing with pain after some of them. That’s not a great sign that the defenseman would be able to play his normally dominant game. Panaccio writes that he’s still officially listed as day-to-day.

Considering his time off and far-from-full-strength condition, the team wasn’t going to have him play in his usual all-everything role anyway. Still, it must be a bit of a letdown that the Flyers will continue to play without Pronger and also must beat Buffalo without Jeff Carter.

Panaccio caught up with Matt Carle, Pronger’s most common defensive partner.

Pronger did take part in every aspect of the drills but as Matt Carle — his on-ice partner — said, the decision was going to likely come down to how much pain he had this morning and what he can tolerate.

If Pronger had played, it was going to be in a limited role.

“When he comes out there, you expect him to be the Hall of the Fame defenseman he is,” Carle said, admitting he had no idea what Pronger’s intentions were of playing. “You don’t think anything less of him. We have to see how he’s feeling. He’s the only one who can answer that.”

Tonight’s game is a pivotal one, so it’s not surprising that Pronger tried his best to come back. The Flyers cannot afford to have him try to play for a shift or two and then abruptly hang it up. They also cannot afford for him to hurt that hand in a longer term way, so this is just how it had to go.

It’s tough not to wonder if Pronger might not be back for the Flyers in this playoffs run, but you never know.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“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


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.