It’s kind of scary to think how many teams might get serious upgrades for the playoffs.
Chris Pronger is currently out for the Flyers, recovering from hand surgery, but he says he expects to be back for the playoffs (and perhaps even sooner).
So basically, Pronger is resting up for the playoffs while he recovers from the surgery. He plans to resume skating as soon as humanly possible, so you have one of the NHL’s most dangerous defenseman getting a serious power nap before the postseason.
It’s tough for the Flyers to lose Pronger for the push into the playoffs, but the Flyers are firmly in the playoff picture. Pronger might have some conditioning and timing issues when he finally returns, but I can’t imagine it will take him more than a handful of games to get those back.
In a lot of ways, especially given the mileage on Pronger’s body, his hand injury might end up being a blessing for Pronger and the Flyers.
Over in Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby has been skating, as he recovers from a concussion. There’s still no timetable on Crosby’s return to the lineup, but given that the frequency of Crosby’s workouts is increasing, it seems like the team is hoping to have him ready for the playoffs, assuming Crosby is ready.
Crosby will have some serious rust if he manages to return to the game this year, but even a rusty Crosby will be a huge weapon for the Penguins. And even if Crosby’s skills aren’t immediately there when he begins playing again, just having him in the lineup is a huge psychological lift for Pittsburgh.
And then, in New Jersey, you have Zach Parise “getting closer” to practicing with the Devils.
Obviously, the Devils playoff chances are still slim (and even slimmer after last night’s loss to the Senators) but if the Devils do manage to make a run into the playoffs and also get back Parise, the Devils go from being a league joke to one of the most dangerous teams in the post-season.
I would be shocked if the Devils are able to grab a playoff spot, but it’s fun to think about what a fully rested Parise might look like in the playoffs.
No team wants an important player to be injured, especially with a concussion, but perhaps the rest these players are getting will ultimately prove to be an asset for those of them that are able to return for the post-season.