Thank you, Andrew Ference.
You took at least one part of the intrigue out of tonight’s Flyers matchup with the visiting Dallas Stars, as it was to be Chris Pronger’s first face-to-face meeting with Adam Burish since last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
Surely, you remember Burish’s inflammatory remarks just minutes after sprinkling water on himself to make it look like he sweat through Chicago’s Game 6 win over the Flyers.
He didn’t. He was a healthy scratch - and puts his pads and skates on to skate around the Wells Fargo Center ice with the Cup.
“I think Chris Pronger is the biggest idiot in the league,” Burish said to a Chicago television reporter. “I can’t stand him one bit. I have I never have to see him again. If I see him, I’ll punch him.”
Well, neither one will get the chance - as Ference broke Burish’s orbital bone in a fight on Thursday night, conveniently in the game before he was to face the Flyers. The Stars put Burish on the injured reserve on Friday.
Video of Burish’s fight with Ference is below.
“I’ve got nothing for ya,” Pronger said yesterday when asked about Burish after practice.
Pronger had the line of the playoffs last year, when asked about Burish after the Blackhawks had already claimed the Cup. Everyone wanted to know what would happen next, since Burish said he would punch Pronger if he saw him. “Where’s that?” Pronger asked, “In the minors?”
Burish later apologized to Pronger on the NHL Network back in October.
“You know what? I said some stupid things I probably shouldn't have after that game,” Burish told the NHL Network's David Amber. “It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing and I'm not gonna sit and make an excuse about it. I've got a lot of respect for the guy. I think he's a Hall of Fame defenseman, one of the best that's ever played the game.”
Even though Pronger hasn't fought since Dec. 3, 2009, you could bet he would have at least had a word or two to say.
While Pronger won’t get that chance tonight, he may still be a little fired up for tonight’s contest against the Pacific division-leading Stars, who have been one of the great stories of this season.
Dallas has lost two in a row - and in a division where the 5th place team, Los Angeles, is one point out of 8th place in the Conference, there isn’t much room for error. Dallas and Boston fought four times in the first period alone on Thursday.
The Stars and Pronger may be going in different directions.
Pronger may have had one of his best games on the season on Thursday night agaisnt Nashville, particularly after being facewashed by Joel Ward in the second period.
“He certainly is good when he plays that way,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “I’m not sure exactly what happens on those scrums or when the whistle blows, but I thought he played a good hockey game. He does a good job of keep it right at the line that you don’t want to cross, when you have to start killling penalties. He’s a tough guy to play against.”
Pronger may get another crack at Burish on March 19 in Dallas. That is, if Burish’s other crack is healed by then.
DID YOU NOTICE ... That Peter Laviolette used James van Riemsdyk on the power play at the point for about 45 seconds during Thursday night’s win against the Predators?
While he was also looking for a spark, Laviolette said on Friday the move was more of a reward for van Riemsdyk than anything.
“It’s hard to get on the power play if you’re not on it,” Laviolette said. “It’s easy to say that we haven’t scored in a couple days, so just change it. But if you change it, you have to take off your leading scorer, or your leading assist-getter, or a guy who scored 85 points last year.
“It’s just not that easy. We’re trying to keep people involved.”
Laviolette said he was also interested in seeing van Riemsdyk at the point, possibly being able to use the 101.7 mph slap shot he displayed during a December skills competition with his teammates.
“He played it a little bit back in college,” Laviolette said. “And he’s got that slap shot, so we’re just seeing if he can crank it up from the back end a little bit. We’re just giving it a look once in a while to keep people involved.”
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE ... Laviolette was pleased to see his team bounce back with a win over Nashville after Tuesday’s embarrassing shutout in Tampa Bay, but he’s noticed a change in the style of games recently.
“I didn’t like the score in Tampa Bay,” he said. “We weren’t happy with the result. But I thought we came back and played a competitive game against a competitive team. It’s looking more and more like playoff hockey.
“I’m looking for more consistency with that playoff-style hockey. If we play that way, we’ll continue to win and move up the standings.”
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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