2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 3: Does Pronger get away with too much?
Chris Pronger does not have a great reputation. He’s been suspended multiple times in the past, and not always for just a bad hit -- the leg-stomping incident is about as bad as you can get.
That he ended up playing for the Flyers is only fitting. He was brought in to provide not only great defensive leadership and veteran experience, but to be that nasty guy out on the ice that no one wants to mess with. The Flyers are a physical team for sure, but every team needs a player that is -- sort of -- like Pronger.
A lot of the focus headed into this series has been on his matchup against Dustin Byfuglien. After two games and a complete shutdown of the Blackhawks’ top line, the focus has now shifted to what I think is one of the oddest and dumbest incidents to debate over I’ve seen in a long time.
Chris Pronger stole the puck at the end of both games.
This has caused an incredible amount of debate to spill out across the interweb, with many saying this is justification that Pronger is nothing more than a jerk. Perhaps he’s a genius. It seems that everyone is talking about Pronger and this puck incident instead of focusing on what really matters.
Today, several of the Blackhawks were asked about Pronger. Other than the postgame festivities after Game 2, he’s been relatively quiet. He’s played solid and smart hockey, not allowing himself to get caught up in any games with the rest of the Blackhawks.
Instead, it’s the Blackhawks that are now caught up in his game. Patrick Kane was asked if perhaps Pronger gets away with more because oh who he is.
“I think so. I think the refs probably know it too,” Kane said. “He’s been in the league a long time. He gets away with whacks here and there that he probably shouldn’t. Playing in the league that long, I guess you kind of deserve something like that.”
Coach Joel Quenneville isn’t all that worried about it, and says that Pronger is smart for being able to play like he does without taking too many penalties.
“You have to commend Prongs for finding ways to get around it or push the envelope, whichever -- as far as, I guess, you can push it. But he’s a smart player that is effective in a lot of ways. He finds the way to take advantage of whatever situation it is that can give him an edge.”
Perhaps Pronger went a bit too far in taking those pucks, but it’s created drama for the Blackhawks while he’s easily shrugged off any question directed his way about it. The Flyers didn’t have much to say about it today and frankly weren’t asked all that much about the incident.
I’m certain that Adam Burish will have something to say though, and while he’s done plenty of talking off the ice I’m certain he might have something to say tonight as well.