Today's practice could determine Pronger's status for Flyers' first-round

Chris Pronger is making progress and confident he'll play vs. Sabres.
Chris Pronger is making progress and confident he'll play vs. Sabres.
Posted: April 13, 2011

Chris Pronger is confident he is making progress.

And Pronger said yesterday that he is "very" confident he will be able to return to the Flyers' lineup at some point during their first-round playoff series against Buffalo - even if it is not for Game 1.

Yesterday, Pronger took part in an early morning skate with assistant coach Kevin McCarthy, forward Ian Laperriere and defenseman Matt Walker, who cleared re-entry waivers later yesterday.

But it's today's workout that could act as a benchmark for where Pronger stands in his recovery. Don't be surprised to see Pronger skate in a full practice with his teammates for the first time in more than 2 weeks and attempt to participate in drills with stickhandling and shooting to provide a true test.

"Every day you feel better," Pronger said. "Come to practice [today] and see."

Pronger, who missed the Flyers' final 16 games after March 16 surgery on his right hand, has not been ruled out for tomorrow night's opening game of the Stanley Cup playoffs against Buffalo. There is still so much to be determined, as Pronger skated yesterday with a stick but did not handle a puck or take any shots.

"It's tough," Pronger said. "You'd like to be able to be out there prepping, going through all of the drills and preparing properly. I have my own path, I guess. We'll use it for what it is."

Earlier yesterday morning, Danny Briere went on a Buffalo radio station and said Pronger would not play in Game 1 and it was "very possible" he could miss the entire postseason.

"We were playing around," Briere said. "I have no clue. I don't know. I played in Buffalo and I've known them for a long time. I was just playing around."

Back home, general manager Paul Holmgren had little to offer on Pronger's status, other than that he may not need as much practice time as pessimists think in order to return to the lineup.

"He's going to continue to be day-to-day here," Holmgren said. "He's coming along nicely. He was better [yesterday] than he was [Monday]. He's played 1,185 games in the NHL or something like that and [147] playoff games. I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt."

Slap shots

Defenseman Matt Walker now is at the disposal of Peter Laviolette. "I'm happy that he cleared because he's played in the playoffs and has a lot of experience," Paul Holmgren said. "We're trying to get him up to speed with lots of hard work in practice." Walker has not played in the NHL since Jan. 18, undergoing three surgeries this season . . . Holmgren said he thought Danny Syvret would play if Chris Pronger could not, "depending on matchups," but added that Syvret played well in Buffalo last Friday. *

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|