Flyers' top D, Chris Pronger will miss Game 1 of the Buffalo Sabres/ Philadelphia Flyers series. The veteran is still listed as day-to-day and his availability for Game 2 is still up in the air.
I believe if the Flyers win, he will take Game 2 off, if they lose he will play Game 2.
In other line-up moves, Nik Zherdev gets the pass to the pressbox again. Zherdev had played very well in the last 5 games of the season and is being passed over in favor of Dan Carcillo. Carcillo has played about as good as a Johnstown Chief this year.
Without Zherdev the Flyer's third line is anchored (I mean weighed down) by defensive forward Andreas Nodl. This makes the third line less of a threat, and takes a quality 4th line player away from the 4th line. The hole on the 4th line will be filled by Carcillo, making the 4th line less defensive, less offensive and more of a penalty risk.
This move by Laviolette is puzzling to say the least, but not surprising. He has made head scratching personnel decisions involving Zherdev and Carcillo all year. Why stop that now?
Laviolette is giving Carcillo a chance to turn his play around, a chance to play in the playoffs that Nik Zherdev earned.
We'll see how Carcillo plays, but I expect him to be anything but positive to the Flyers. Maybe go out there unneededly stir things up, rack up penalty minutes and only get 6 mins on ice tonight. But that doesn't help win the game, it doesn't help beat Ryan Miller.
Taking away Zherdev's offensive talent from this series makes the Sabres breathe a little easier. And in the playoffs, that's not a good thing for the Flyers.
Jump over to zeleFORUMS and hit up the Flyers v. Sabres thread for more discussion, including which D will replace Pronger tonight.