Tag:Chris Pronger
Posted on: December 15, 2011 8:05 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 7:58 am
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Chris Pronger done for season, playoffs

By: Adam Gretz

Word began to surface late Thursday afternoon that Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger was going to be out indefinitely due to his various ailments, including the concussion-type symptoms he was recently experiencing.

That wasn't really anything new, as he was already out of the lineup and the team had already announced that he would be indefinitely. But then Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren addressed the media Thursday evening, just after the team faced off against the Montreal Canadiens, and dropped the bombshell that the veteran defenseman will be sidelined for the remainder of the season as well as the playoffs.

“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins," Holmgren said, "it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post-concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs.  Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”
More Chris Pronger Injuries

In 13 games this season Pronger scored one goal to go with 11 assists.

Concussions have been sweeping like wildfire across the NHL over the past couple of weeks, something the Flyers currently know all too well. Along with Pronger, they're also playing without forwards Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn, both out with concussions.

Nobody seems to know for sure when Pronger suffered the concussion that has now ended his season, but he's had a lengthy list of injuries this season. Earlier in the year he was sidelined after taking a stick in the face, and was most recently out due to a procedure on his knee. It wasn't until after that procedure that we first heard about his concussion symptoms.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Top NHL scorer, Claude Giroux out with concussion

By Brian Stubits

Already without their captain Chris Pronger because of a concussion, the Flyers are going to sans not only their top scorer, but the NHL's leader in points, Claude Giroux, indefinitely with a concussion.

Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren made the announcement on Tuesday.

"Claude reported not feeling very good today," Holmgren said in a statement. "Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion.

This was the fear after the Flyers' win over the Lightning this weekend. It was in that game that Giroux was hit in the back of his head by teammate Wayne Simmonds' knee in a flukey accident. Simmonds did his best to avoid Giroux, who fell to the ice on a checking attempt, but his knee smacked Giroux square in the back of the head when he tried to leap his teammate.

The Flyers have been able to hang tough through all of the injury issues they've been dealt, but this one will test them like no other. Giroux is atop everybody's list of early season Hart candidates, posting 39 points in just 29 games for Philadelphia this season, helping the Flyers to the top of the Eastern Conference. The next closest player in the scoring department for the Flyers is Scott Hartnell with 26 points.

"When he goes out we look for the veteran players like Danny [Briere] to step in," coach Peter Laviolette said, "and we also look at the young players like Matt Read or Sean Couturier to pick up the slack."

"Obviously he's a guy you can't replace," James van Riemsdyk added. "It's going to take a lot of people to step it up and fill the role that he plays. He does everything for us: penalty kill, power play, scores big goals, makes big hits, blocks shots, does it all. So we're going to have to kind of step up our game here. Just let him rest and not have to rush him back."

So that means in the past two days Pennsylvania's two best players (Sidney Crosby the other) announced they are out indefinitely, Crosby for more concussion-like symptoms.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 10:28 pm
 

Giroux, Bryzgalov injured in Flyers win

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By: Adam Gretz


When we last left the Flyers and Lightning, there was quite a debate raging on about Philadelphia's "stall tactics" in an effort to beat Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 neutral zone trap. Heading into Saturday's rematch the biggest question being asked was whether or not we would see a repeat when the teams faced off at the Wells Fargo Center.

Maybe it was because they didn't want to put their home town fans to sleep, or perhaps because the strategy resulted in a loss and their worst offensive showing of the season, but the Flyers made no such attempt on Saturday on their way to a 5-2 win over the Lightning. For Tampa Bay it was its sixth loss in the past seven games, and while Philadelphia ended up winning on the scoreboard, it suffered two pretty big losses in the injury department as Claude Giroux and Ilya Bryzgalov both left early with injuries.

Giroux, who entered the game as the NHL's leading scorer, had to exit during the second period when he fell to the ice and took an accidental knee to the head from his teammate, Wayne Simmonds. He did not return.  He's been Philadelphia's best player thus far and and an early front runner in the race for league MVP. He did manage to add to his league-leading point total before leaving the game with a pair of assists, including a helper on a power play goal by Simmonds in the second period.

Bryzgalov's injury doesn't appear to be serious and he seems to have been held out as a precaution, and when asked if he's "day-to-day," he replied, "probably hour-to-hour."

It's been a costly week in the injury department for the Flyers, as Chris Pronger and Brayden Schenn are both out indefinitely due to concussion-like symptoms.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Pronger, Schenn out with concussion symptoms

By: Adam Gretz

At this point, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is pretty much a one-man M*A*S*H unit.

Currently sidelined for the next few weeks after having surgery on his knee, which came after he missed a couple of weeks after taking a stick in the eye, and was then out with what the Flyers called a "virus," it was reported on Friday that the veteran defenseman is also suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
More Chris Pronger Injuries

It's entirely possible, if not likely, that the "virus" had something to do with the concussion symptoms he's currently experiencing.

"While Chris' knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms," said general manager Paul Holmgren in a team statement. "Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, December 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinetly."

Dr. Mickey Collins, of course, is the same doctor that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby has been seeing over the past year.

Pronger isn't the only player on the Flyers currently dealing with concussion symptoms, as Holmgren also announced that forward Brayden Schenn will also be out indefinitely with a mild concussion. Said Holmgren in the same statement, "Brayden reported 'not feeling himself' on December 5th. Our doctors believe he has a mild concussion."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Penguins to face old friends without Crosby

jagrsmile

By: Adam Gretz


One of the most anticipated matchups of the regular season finally takes place on Thursday night as cross-state rivals Pittsburgh and Philadelphia face off at the Wells Fargo Center. These games are always a highlight of both team's schedules, and usually involve some level of on-ice chaos.

This time around, it's the first meeting between the two teams since the Flyers' dip into the free agency pool over the summer that included their signings of former Penguins Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot.

Talbot was a playoff hero for the Penguins in recent years, scoring two goals in their Game 7 win over the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, helping the team claim its third Stanley Cup title. There was also his famous silencing of the crowd in Philadelphia earlier that postseason following his fight with Daniel Carcillo in a Game 6 series clinching win.

And the there's the Jagr angle. He is still the second greatest player in franchise history, and a large part of the first two championships the team won in the early 90s, and all of that is going to get overshadowed for the foreseaable future, or at least as long as he wears the Flyers orange and black, because of what happened over the summer.

By now, you're probably already familiar with how it all went down, but if you're not, a quick refresher: After spending three years playing in the KHL, Jagr was ready to make a return to the NHL and the Penguins were one of the teams interested. What followed was a highly publicized free agency courtship between them and the Detroit Red Wings, before both teams ultimately backed out of the bidding with Jagr signing a one-year pact with Pittsburgh's fiercest rival, essentially burning every bridge that wasn't already burned when he asked for a trade out of Pittsburgh 10 years ago.

And with that, the stage is set for Thursday night, even if it seems to mean more to the fans of the two teams (especially the Penguins fans) than it does for the players on the ice.

Three talking points heading into Thursday's game:

1) Matchup with Jagr more for Penguins fans than Penguins players: Regarding the Penguins' first meeting with Jagr since his signing with Philadelphia, defenseman Brooks Orpik said, via Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review, "I think this whole thing is more for the fans. I've been here the longest of anyone, and I've never played with him. Had one training camp with him — that was it."

And that's probably accurate. When Jagr last suited up for the Penguins, players like Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and James Neal were all under the age of 14. Defenseman Simon Despres would have been 10 years old, and none of the players on the roster played a single game with him in the NHL.

After they missed out on Jagr, the Penguins ended up signing veteran forward Steve Sullivan who has spent most of this season playing on a line with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin. He hasn't been Jagr, but he's been solid with 12 points in 28 games.
More On Penguins-Flyers

2) With Jagr, the Flyers can still score ... a lot: Two months into the season and Jagr has proven he can still play at a high level, even at the age of 39, averaging a point-per-game with nine goals and 13 assists in his first 22 games this season, playing mostly on a line with the NHL's current leading scorer, Claude Giroux. The additions of Jagr and Talbot were part of a summer-long re-tooling by Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, and while it seemed that goaltending would finally become a strength (or at least, no longer be a glaring weakness) with the addition of Ilya Bryzgalov from the Phoenix Coyotes, it's the offense that's continued to carry the Flyers, even in the absence of defenseman Chris Pronger.

The Flyers, at this point, have silenced any doubt as to whether or not they have enough offense following the losses of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino to compete for a top spot in the East, currently putting the highest-scoring team in the NHL out on the ice. Giroux has been everything the Flyers could have hoped that he would be at their top-scoring option, while rookies Matt Read and Sean Couturier have played large roles.

3) Sidney Crosby Isn't Playing And Nobody Knows Why: When the Penguins announced on Wednesday that Sidney Crosby will miss the next two games (including Thursday's game in Philadelphia) it was assumed that it was a result of his center ice collision with teammate Chris Kunitz. And while that wouldn't have been good news, it would have been better than worrying about whether or not it was a head injury. But that may not be the case. As Mike Colligan of the Hockey Writers pointed out on Thursday, Crosby took several hits during what was an extremely physical game with the Boston Bruins on Monday, including an elbow from David Krejci (poor video quality by clicking here). Because the Penguins were so vague with their description, saying only that he "took a hard hit," and because NHL teams guard injury information like it's gold in Fort Knox, we're left to guess as to which play has him sidelined "as a precaution."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:15 pm
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Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Pronger will miss 4 weeks with knee injury

By: Adam Gretz

Chris Pronger hasn't appeared in a game for the Philadelphia Flyers since Nov. 19, having missed each of the team's past four games with what was originally described as an illness.

On Monday, general Paul Holmgren announced that Pronger will now be on the shelf for the next four weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee on Tuesday afternoon to "clean out some loose particles that have given Chris some problems over the last month or so."

Said Holmgren, "We were hopeful that the time missed with a virus that Chris has been fighting would settle things down in his knee, but after an examination yesterday, it was decided that the surgery is the way to go at this time. We expect Chris will be back playing in four weeks.”

Injuries have been an issue for the veteran defenseman over the past two seasons. He appeared in just 50 games for the Flyers last season, and he's already missed time this season due to an eye injury that came after he was struck in the face by a stick. He's played in 13 games this season, scoring one goal to go with 11 assists while also logging over 22 minutes of ice-time per game.

Given his age (he's currently 37) and the mounting injury problems it's worth pointing out that he still has five years remaining on a seven-year contract that he signed prior to the 2010-11 season that carries an average annual salary of $4.9 million against the salary cap.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 2:59 pm
 

It's a trap: Tampa Bay's system under attack

Boucher1

By: Adam Gretz

The highest scoring team in the NHL (the Philadelphia Flyers) played a Tampa Bay Lightning team on Wednesday night that featured the most prolific goal-scorer in the league over the past two seasons (Steven Stamkos) and a former MVP (Martin St. Louis). That should result in an exciting game with a lot of goals, scoring chances and back-and-forth play, right? Wrong.

The highlight (or lowlight) of the night, as well as the biggest talking point in the NHL on Thursday morning, is how the game, which Tampa Bay won in overtime, 2-1, had all the excitement of paint drying due to the Lightning's commitment to its 1-3-1 system, and the Flyers' unwillingness to attack it.

If you haven't already seen it, multiple times throughout the game, especially during the first period, the Flyers' defensemen, including Chris Pronger and Braydon Coburn, refused to skate the puck out of their own zone and waited for the Lightning's forecheckers to make the first move.

When that didn't happen, the result was a stalemate unlike any other

And this was a game that was played on national television. That can not be what the NHL wants, and most of the negative reaction has been directed at the Lightning and coach Guy Boucher for playing such a style of hockey.

Versus analyst Mike Milbury, for example, left the set during the second intermission of Wednesday's game in "protest" (though, his night was probably over at that point anyway), while the discussion of whether or not the NHL needs to implement some form of "shot clock" to prevent a team from not advancing the puck the way Philadelphia did has been kicked off.


Depending on your rooting interest you probably have a different idea as to who the winners and losers were in this game. If you're a Lightning fan you're probably happy (and rightfully so) because your team won the game. Flyers fans -- and the Flyers themselves -- seem to be taking great pride in the fact that they embarrassed the Lightning by essentially calling out their style of play and shining some light on how boring the neutral zone trap is (though, we didn't need the Flyers to prove that to us -- we knew that based on watching hockey between 1995 and 2005).

Take, for example, the words of Pronger, via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly:
“Would you pay money to see that? I wouldn’t either and that was a [VERSUS] TV game, too. Way to showcase the product. Look at the players they got over there.
 
“That’s not my job. Maybe Shanny [Brendan Shanahan] should take charge of that, too. I don’t know.
 
“That is the way they play there all the time, whether it’s us or anybody. If they get down, they go into a two-man forecheck. We were just waiting for them to come in. Force them out of their forecheck or whatever that was. They weren’t forchecking. Their stance, I guess.
 
“That was their game right there. We were making them look bad. That’s not hockey in my book, but whatever. The league is letting them do it.”
Of course the league is "letting them do it," because there's nothing in the rule book that says a team can't play a certain type of defensive system. And as far as the "making them look bad" is concerned, it should again be pointed out that Tampa Bay did, in fact, win the hockey game, which is still the ultimate goal.

Tampa Bay doesn't pride itself on winning games in style, because if it did, it wouldn't be playing the 1-3-1 to begin with. So it's doubtful the Lightning are going to apologize for the boring manner in which they win games. And they aren't.

"We're sticking to the game plan," said Boucher, via the St. Pete Times. "When we have the puck we're aggressive with it, and when we don't have the puck we dedicate ourselves to being above the puck instead of chasing from behind. It tells me guys are buying in."

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff chimed in on Thursday and according to John Vogl condoned Tampa Bay's style of play, but did add that there has to be an obligation to try and get the puck if the other team has it.

There also has to be an obligation for the team with the puck to move it.

As a hockey fan, of course I would prefer to see a more offensive game that highlights the skill of the players on the ice, so I can't say that I love the way Tampa Bay plays. I certainly respect it, and I respect the way players have obviously bought into Boucher's system, but it is boring. But I also don't want to see anything that would limit their ability to play that style of hockey or restrict a players' on-ice movements, such as the type of "illegal defense" rules the NBA has attempted over the years, mainly because I'm not sure how you enforce it, and also because the referees have enough to worry about without trying to identify what system a team is playing.

I don't blame the Lightning for what took place Wednesday night, and focussing on Tampa Bay seems to overlook the fact that just about every team in the NHL plays some variation of the trap -- it's just that the Lightning's is different from all the others. Still, when the Flyers have the puck the onus is on them to advance it, play the game, and figure out a way to exit their own zone, navigate through the neutral zone and enter the offensive zone. They chose not to do that.

And let's not act like the Lightning and their system, no matter how committed they are to it, are impossible to score against. Last season they allowed 155 goals during 5-on-5 play (when they would have been playing their system). Only 12 teams in the NHL allowed more. So far this season they've allowed 33 goals during 5-on-5 play, which is the fourth most in the NHL (only Ottawa, Carolina and Philadelphia have allowed more).

You can score against them. The only way you're guaranteed to not score against them is if you make no effort.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com