Panotch reports that Pronger is close to 100% healthy. And outside of Philadelphia, people cannot be happy about that.
Forget his presence, and how he affects players mentalities and other nonsense. It’s what he physically does that makes him damn special. And if he’s not limited by injuries, then he’s going to be an impact player. The broken hand is close to being fixed, it’s the back that worries me. Athletes always think their back is ok, but you never know. Remember what happened to LeClair when his back started to go?
But with Pronger it’s a herniated disc. He had surgery, and if he’s saying that it shouldn’t be a problem as long as he follows doctors orders, then we should expect him to be his usual self once he’s on the ice. We know how much better he makes Carle look. But it’s got a trickle down effect through the rest of the D. The entire D will have an easier time and will conserve their energy better over the course of the season with Pronger back and eating up minutes. As awesome as the defensive numbers were last year, maybe we can expect more this year.
What I’ looking forward to most is seeing the team get tougher with him around. More hitting, more facewashes, more of everything that will wear out opponents. I don’t think Pronger was the missing piece in the playoffs last year. But I think if he’d been healthy during the entire regular season, then the entire team would have been different entering the postseason. I guess we’ll see if that works out this year. I know he’s off his usual training schedule. Who knows if that relates to a slower start once he does get back on the ice. But as long as he is back to 100% by midseason and hopefully through June, then the Flyers will be ok.
Pronger also admitted he might be a bit re-energized for this year given the amount of time he missed last season – 32 regular season games and eight playoff contests.
Hearing that makes me a bit more excited for this season. At his age, he really can play for the money and just hang around. He’s won everything already. But if he’s got something to play for, that makes him dangerous. He’s got to make up for a lot of crosschecks, outlet passes, and powerpay goals for the time that he’s missed. Dear Calendar, is it October yet?
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