Call us jinxes if you’d like but after we’d reported earlier that there would be no lineup changes for either team in tonight’s Game 2 between Philadelphia and Boston, there will be one late change and it’s a big one. Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is out of tonight’s game with an as yet unknown malady. Danny Syvret will jump into the starting lineup in his place.
Pronger returned to the Flyers lineup late in the first round against the Sabres after dealing with a broken hand that kept him out of action through the end of the regular season. He played in the final two games of the first round and played in Game 1 against Boston, a game that saw the Flyers get pounded 7-3 thanks to a mix of poor defense and goaltending.
Pronger’s presence is normally one of bruising hits and intimidation. In the three games he’s played, however, guys have taken their pokes at him and have gotten him to take ill-timed penalties in retaliation. His and the rest of the Flyers work defensively in Game 1 against Boston left a lot to be desired. We’ll be eager to hear just what is bothering Pronger and has him out of the lineup tonight, but until then we’ll have to work under the assumption that his hand is causing him trouble again.
We’ll see how his absence affects the Flyers play tonight. If the rest of the defense can’t tighten things up this game could turn ugly again on the scoreboard. The Flyers will need to be a lot smarter in this game all around and not having Pronger out there could be a big problem.