Flyers' Pronger chews out Giroux

Posted: March 12, 2011

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren acknowledged Friday that veteran defenseman Chris Pronger had chewed out 23-year-old all-star Claude Giroux after the team's inartistic, 4-1 win over Edmonton on Tuesday.

Asked what he thought of the situation, Holmgren was blunt.

"I think it's great," he told reporters at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees.

As reporters entered the locker room after Tuesday's game, some could hear Pronger shouting, "Some people just don't learn."

The Flyers dominated the first period in that win over Edmonton - ending a four-game losing streak - but were soundly outplayed in the final 40 minutes.

"Nobody likes the way we've been playing, and it just came to a head in that particular instance, I'm sure," said Holmgren, whose team hosts Atlanta on Saturday night, a game in which Pronger is questionable because of a sore right hand. "Just got to get on the same page. I'm assuming you're talking about Chris and Claude, right? Claude Giroux wants to win, but sometimes he needs to hear from the older guys on the team that this is how it's done."

Holmgren added: "I don't think it's bad. Claude, maybe he didn't like being spoken to like that, but I think he understands what's being said to him, and he'll benefit from that."

Ironically, Giroux, who has a team-high 63 points, has been one of the Flyers' most consistent players. He had three turnovers in the win over Edmonton, and Pronger criticized the Flyers for their sloppy play after that game.

Giroux, who could not be reached for comment Friday, scored the game-winner in Thursday's 3-2 victory in Toronto.

As for Pronger's status for Saturday night's home game, the Flyers might err on the side of caution and give the 36-year-old defenseman more time to rest his sore hand.

Pronger missed Thursday's win in Toronto with the injury, which he apparently re-aggravated in a recent game or practice. He injured the hand blocking a shot against the New York Islanders on Feb. 24, missed a game against Ottawa, then returned to the lineup and played in four consecutive games before sitting out against the Maple Leafs.

"We'll see how he is tomorrow," Holmgren said. "He's day-to-day with that and how he feels. Obviously, he wants to play. And if he didn't feel like he's ready to play yet, then we'll ride it out. It's nothing to be concerned with long-term. It's just kind of a nagging, day-to-day thing right now."

On Friday, Pronger skated on one side of the Voorhees practice rink with assistant coach Kevin McCarthy.

Earlier in the week, Pronger had an ice pack on his hand after the win over Edmonton.

Pronger would not comment on his injury. If he cannot play against Atlanta, Nick Boynton again will be in the lineup. Boynton, in his Flyers debut, was paired with Matt Carle and played well in Thursday's physical game in Toronto.

"It's been a while since I had some body contact, but it felt pretty good, all in all," said Boynton, an 11-year veteran who hadn't played since Feb. 7, when he was with Chicago.

The Flyers will face an Atlanta team that is struggling to keep its Eastern Conference playoff hopes alive. The Thrashers, despite two straight wins, were seven points out of the final playoff spot heading into Friday's game against New Jersey.

Breakaways. Carle has 30 assists - one shy of equaling his career best. . . . Entering Friday, Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd had eight goals in his last 10 games. . . . The Flyers have a better record on the road (21-9-3) than at home (21-10-3). They are 18-7-6 in one-goal games.


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/BroadStBull

 

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