After being diagnosed with severe post-concussion issues, Chris Pronger hasn’t seen much of Wells Fargo Center lately.
With the Flyers beating Montreal last night to clinch their spot in the postseason, however, Pronger was there sitting with Flyers chairman Ed Snider, his first appearance since having his season ended and his career put in doubt. As CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio hears from the team, they couldn’t be happier he was there to see it especially funny guy Jaromir Jagr.
“He was sitting next to Ed Snider, I thought ‘he owns the team now?’” Jagr joked. “We said ‘He’s the new owner?’ and we all waved. Not many guys wanted to do it, but some guys did it. ‘Hi.’
“I actually saw him two days ago at the practice rink. He was there when we had a day off. I thought he looked good. Hopefully he can come back.”
If there’s a way to pick a team up and give them the kind of boost you can’t do with a speech, seeing your captain for the first time in what feels like ages will do it. Pronger won’t be a factor for the team in the playoffs, but having him in the house even for a night is a sign that he’s feeling better, something that hasn’t been true lately.
Here’s video courtesy of CSNPhilly.com of the crowd’s reaction to seeing Pronger in attendance. A standing ovation will do.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: