pronger meszaros

Flyers owner: “If Pronger and Meszaros had been healthy in the playoffs, we would have won the whole thing”


On the eve of a Kings-Devils Stanley Cup finals, Ed Snider wondered what could’ve been.

The Flyers owner told that, had defensemen Chris Pronger and Andrej Meszaros been healthy for the playoffs, it would’ve been his team playing in the Cup finals.

Winning it, too.

“I honestly think if Pronger and Meszaros had been healthy in the playoffs, we would have won the whole thing,” Snider said. “I don’t like to cry about injuries, buy you just can’t lose a Pronger and replace him. And then on top of that, you lose Meszaros and [Marc-Andre] Bourdon.”

The Flyers lost Pronger for the season on Nov. 19 (concussion) and were without Meszaros (back) for all but one of their playoff contests — the Game 5 loss to New Jersey that ended their season.

An upper-body injury limited Bourdon to just one playoff appearance.

As such, Philly’s defense was a patchwork job. The trade deadline acquisition of Nicklas Grossmann worked out well and, despite missing some time with a concussion, he played well enough to warrant a four-year, $14 million extension.

The Flyers’ other deadline pickup, Pavel Kubina, fared much worse and ended up a healthy scratch by postseason’s end.

This forced head coach Peter Laviolette to rely mostly on Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle while squeezing minutes out of Erik Gustafsson and Andreas Lilja. All told, Philly dressed nine different defencemen during the playoffs, a fairly good indicator of how patchwork it was.

Of course, saying the Flyers had a patchwork defense is a far cry from saying “with Pronger and Meszaros, they win the Cup.”

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning

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Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.

Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers


It’s been a good few days to be a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers, as their team delivered not once, but twice during Thanksgiving weekend.

The Flyers picked up a 3-2 OT win over the Predators on Friday before shutting out the New York Rangers, 3-0, on Saturday.

It was a good afternoon for three players in particular.

Both Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier ended long scoring slumps.

Simmonds’ two goals were his first in seven games, while Couturier scored for the first time in his last 13 contests.

Goaltender Steve Mason also had a solid outing against the Rangers.

The 27-year-old turned aside all 24 shots he faced including this great save on Dominic Moore:

The Flyers lost defenseman Nick Schultz to an upper-body injury in the first period after he took a big hit from Dylan McIlrath.

Luke Schenn defended his fallen teammate by dropping the gloves with McIlrath, which didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

The Rangers are now on a season-high three-game losing streak. Their lack of effort has to be concerning for their head coach Alain Vigneault.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 30-14 over the final 40 minutes.