Oct 062010
Flyers C Chris Pronger

Flyers C Chris Pronger

October 6 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Will he play in Thursday’s opener in Pittsburgh or won’t he?

Only Chris Pronger knows for sure, and the Flyers’ veteran defenseman played it coy Tuesday after he practiced at the Skate Zone in Voorhees and said his surgically repaired right knee was showing improvement.

Enough for him to play Thursday?

“It’s progressing along and we’ll see,” he said, smiling and repeating the refrain to several questions about his availability against the archrival Penguins.

On Tuesday, Pronger practiced for the second time this preseason.

“As a goalie, we love having him out there,” Brian Boucher said. “. . ..He’s our leader back there and eats up a lot of minutes.”

“He’s like the big toe on your foot,” defenseman Sean O’Donnell said. “Things seem to work a lot better when he’s out there. I know he’s not 100 percent . . . but I think there’s 30 teams that would love to have him as their anchor guy.”

Pronger will practice again Wednesday before a decision is made on whether he plays against the Penguins. During Tuesday’s workout, “we didn’t do a lot of speed stuff, so I don’t think today was a really good day to test his mobility and speed,” O’Donnell said. “But he looked good at everything he tried.”

General manager Paul Holmgren said Pronger would travel with the team to Pittsburgh, even if he doesn’t play. The team’s medical and coaching staffs will evaluate the situation before the opener.

“I think you have to rely on Prongs, too. It’s his body,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s the one who’s feeling what he’s feeling.”

At Tuesday’s practice, Pronger was paired with Matt Carle, his partner last season.

The other defensive pairings Tuesday: Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn; Andrej Meszaros and O’Donnell; and Matt Walker and Oskars Bartulis.”

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