Highlight: Flyers cruise past Rangers
Bobrovsky good enough, Pronger of old returns
The Philadelphia Flyers claimed a tidy 4-1 win Thursday night over the rival New York Rangers in a game that wasn't too exciting to watch but was impressive in the fashion that the home team took care of business. That and other thoughts from around the NHL on Thursday night:
• There is a lot of talk about rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, but, the fact is, I could have played net for the Flyers on Thursday night. The Rangers produced a season-low 21 shots on goal and only 11 shots through 40 minutes when the game was still in question. Also, there weren't many second-rebound chances on Bobrovsky. The real story again in Philly this season -- just like it was last spring en route to the Stanley Cup final -- is having the best blue-line corps in the Eastern Conference makes life a lot easier on the guy in net.
• Leading the way on defense, of course, is Chris Pronger, and I felt he began to look like the Pronger of old against the Rangers. His comeback from offseason knee surgery perhaps is fully complete. This is no small development. The veteran blueliner can take over a game single-handedly. He scored his third goal of the season Thursday on a blast from the point and was masterful in his own end directing traffic.
• OK, let's give Bobrovsky some love before Flyers fans invade my Twitter account and demand an apology. He wasn't tested much, but, when he was, I thought his rebound control was terrific and overall he looked really comfortable. A pretty impressive adjustment from the KHL just one month into his NHL career. So if you're head coach Peter Laviolette, what do you do when Michael Leighton returns? Can a goalie lose his job just because of injury? Oh wait, that happened to Pascal Leclaire in Ottawa.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.
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