Life without Pronger sounds like it should be the title of a TV drama, but it’s real life drama for the Flyers starting tonight against Montreal. Chris Pronger’s scary eye injury will have him out of action for a bit and the Flyers will have to figure out how to replace his production on the ice and continue to win.
So just who is it that has the duty to fill those oversized skates? A pair of guys who didn’t figure to be carrying a large burden this season in Andreas Lilja and Matt Walker. Those two have been trading time in and out of the lineup this year as the sixth defenseman but now they’re both going to see action from the ice and not from the press box.
Sound scary? Yeah, it very well might be. Neither guy can bring what Pronger does to the ice and for Walker he’s spent more time in salary exile in the AHL than in the NHL and on the injured list. Lilja, meanwhile, has at least had success in the past with Detroit being part of a Stanley Cup winner in 2008.
Stanley Cup winning teams generally have to deal with some kind of trials and tribulations during the season and for the Flyers, getting by without Pronger will be their big test. Getting to warm up against the slumping, yet dangerous, Canadiens should prove to be a good way to warm up.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.