If the way the Flyers defensemen Andreas Lilja and Matt Walker played last night against Montreal in a 5-1 loss is a sign of how things are going to be without Chris Pronger, it’s about to get real ugly in Philly.
Lilja saw just over 15 minutes worth of confidence-sapping ice time while Matt Walker wasn’t trusted enough to see double-digit minutes. The rest of the defenseman struggled to keep up with play, especially Matt Carle who looked lost without his usual defense partner in Pronger.
Topping off the crappy sundae was the play of Ilya Bryzgalov who couldn’t corral his rebounds while Canadiens forwards went uncovered to pounce on them for goals. Bryzgalov hasn’t looked at ease yet in Philadelphia and fans are already grumbling about it.
Do Peter Laviolette or Paul Holmgren have any backup plans to cover things while Pronger is out? Not yet, but they may have to start exploring options if things continue like this. Rolling with essentially five defenseman (Walker played just over seven minutes last night as the sixth) that have no confidence defensively nor the defensive dedication that Pronger does could mean the Flyers start working the phones.
There’s no help in the AHL for Philly so either they run with what they have or it’s time to look for a trade. All we know is that if we were Scott Hartnell, we might not be looking to buy a house in eastern Pennsylvania until things get figured out.