PHILADELPHIA – Last series, the Bruins dealt with the uncertain status of their giant defenseman prior to Game 2 against Montreal.
Today Boston’s second-round opponent Philadelphia has its own issues with the health of its jumbo blueliner with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Bruins and Flyers scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight.
Chris Pronger did not skate this morning at the Wells Fargo Center, which will be the site of Game 2, and he is classified as a game-time decision. Pronger went into the tunnel with just a couple minutes remaining at the end of Game 1 Saturday. It is not known whether his current problem is being caused by the fractured hand he suffered in March and had surgically repaired.
Pronger missed the last 16 games of the regular season and the first five games of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs for the Flyers. The Flyers have played without Pronger somewhat often, as he missed 32 games total in the regular season.
“We feel pretty good,” said veteran defenseman Sean O’Donnell about the Flyers’ confidence if they have to play without Pronger. “Every team deals with injuries. They’ve played without arguably their most offensive guy in Marc Savard all year. They’ve done a good job with that. No one’s feeling sorry for them over there. They’re finding ways to get it done. And whatever happens, any injury, whoever it might be, we’ll find a way to get it done.”
Matt Carle is Pronger’s usual D partner. He knows the team has handled the situation well when their biggest player on the back end has been unavailable.
“We have dealt with it. We’ve played a handful of games without him and like it’s been all season, it’s not going to be one guy to step up and say ‘this is me. I’m going to be replacing Chris Pronger.’ That’s not how it works,” said Carle. “Hockey is a team sport and as a D corps we all have to do something to step our game up and replace what is or what isn’t there.
The Bruins famously played Game 2 against the Canadiens without Zdeno Chara due to dehydration and lost that contest to go down 0-2 in the series.