Some bizarre news out of Philadelphia today as Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the health of defenseman Chris Pronger.
“While Chris’ knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms,” Holmgren told the Flyers website. “Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, December 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinitely.”
This is a shocking turn of events. On Dec. 1, Pronger discussed a ‘mystery illness’ with CSN Philadelphia and talked about the concussion baseline test he underwent.
“I just didn’t feel well, I didn’t know what it was,” Pronger said. “I never felt like that before with headaches and nausea, and that stuff. I had a concussion baseline test and passed that…I got lightheaded, had headaches, you’re nauseous.”
Pundits are now trying to piece together the last two months and figure out what happened, when it happened and how it happened. Here’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie:
If this is the case, questions will be asked of the Philadelphia organization. Pronger was out of the lineup 16 days (six games) after suffering the eye injury but proceeded to play huge minutes upon rejoining the team. In his final game — a 6-4 loss to Winnipeg on Nov. 19 — Pronger played a season-high 26:41.
This year has been an injury nightmare for Pronger. In addition to the eye injury and concussion, he also underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee.
Shayne Gostisbehere is the proud owner of a new rookie record.
With his goal in the third period of Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the Devils, the 22-year-old extended his point streak to 11 games, which is a record for rookie defensemen in the NHL.
Gostisbehere has an incredible 10 goals and 30 points in 35 games this season.
Gostisbehere’s goal tied the game at one after Devils forward Joseph Blandisi scored this beauty in the first period:
Adam Henrique added the game-winning goal in overtime.
It’s the second straight 2-1 victory for the Devils, who also beat the Oilers by the same score on Tuesday night.
The Flyers have just one win in their last five contests.
To add insult to injury, Philadelphia lost Michael Del Zotto to an upper-body injury, per GM Ron Hextall.
Here’s an updated look at the Metropolitan division standings and Wild Card race:
CHICAGO (AP) Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin is expected to play Saturday night against Anaheim after missing two games with an illness.
Panarin participated in Chicago’s optional morning skate, and coach Joel Quenneville says the rookie will be in the lineup against the Ducks.
The 24-year-old Panarin, who has played on Chicago’s second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane for most of the season, is second on the team with 34 assists and 52 points. The Blackhawks dropped both games while he was out.
Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.
Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.
The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.
McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).
The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.
McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.
The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.
Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.
He’ll miss at least another week.
What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.
The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.
It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.
Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.
He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).
That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.
Some Twitter reaction to the goal: