January 2 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Short-term, the Flyers can withstand the loss of injured defenseman Chris Pronger and be a defensively responsible team.
At least that was the message coming from the Flyers‘ veteran blueliners after their latest defensive meltdown, Friday’s 5-2 loss in Anaheim.
The Flyers gave rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky little support and handed the Ducks an abundance of wide-open scoring chances.
In the last five games, all without Pronger, the Flyers have allowed 21 goals, an average of 4.2 per contest.
Is it an aberration?
Sean O’Donnell thinks so. The 39-year-old defenseman pointed out that the Flyers played the first two games of the season without Pronger, who was then rehabbing from off-season knee surgery.
In those games – a 3-2 win in Pittsburgh and a 2-1 overtime defeat in St. Louis – the Flyers surrendered a total of just three regulation goals.
“Chris is a great player, but we showed we can do the job without him,” O’Donnell said. “We just need to tighten up.”
Pronger is expected to be sidelined until late January because of his latest injury, a broken right foot.
Compounding matters is that defenseman Kimmo Timonen is playing through a leg injury.”
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