Posted 7:24 PM ET | Comments 0
It's 15 minutes to game time, and we know more about how Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan than what's up with Flyers' defenseman Chris Pronger.
Apparently, Pronger is not playing tonight's pivotal Game 2 as the Flyers try to even things with the Bruins before the series shifts to Boston. Asked why by a reporter before the game, GM Paul Holmgren reportedly said "There's nothing to talk about."
So the Flyers, coming off their worst playoff game in, well, a long time (games in which they were elminated from the playoffs, last year aside, come to mind), will try to do it without their best defenseman. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence, since the biggest problem in Saturday's 7-3 loss was the defense.
Brian Boucher was hardly a star, and certainly didn't do much to help, but the Flyers were criminally negligent in front of him. Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen were especially brutal.
It’s been a rough playoffs for the three of them. Carle was downright awful Saturday and was that moreso than not in Round 1. His refusal to stay home and check the man on the weak side is causing huge problems.
Coburn has a serious case of “I’m trying to do too much.” Instead of making the simple play, the simple pass, the smart dump in, he’s too regularly trying to skate through two or three players to make some highlight reel play. There are certainly times to take those chances, but not every time you touch the puck.
While I’ve come to expect that type of play from those two, Timonen has been a surprise. He’s been out of position, chasing plays behind his own net, and brutal along the offensive blue line.
Without Pronger, the turnaround on defense begins with No. 44. If he doesn’t find a way to settle things on the back end, the Flyers will find themselves halfway to the golf course.