IN CASE YOU NEEDED PROOF....
...this is why Chris Pronger was brought to Philadelphia.
To be a difference-maker. To be a physical presence. To bring a whole lot of nasty to the postseason.
Sure it seemed like he was saving it at times during the regular season - you can't be the meanest S.O.B. 82 games a year. But, he still had a Norris Trophy-worthy season and he still was the Flyers' MVP.
The difference is now, when the games matter more than at any other point, he's a great enough player to elevate his game where it needs to be.
Like being in place in front of Martin Brodeur to score a power play goal - somewhere defensemen don't tend to roam.
Like killing off 6:35 of the 10 minutes the Flyers were shorthanded.
Like taking 34 shifts and spending 30:01 on the ice - yes, that's more than half the game.
Like leaning on Zach Parise or Patrik Elias or Travis Zajac or Jamie Langenbrunner or Brian Rolston or Ilya Kovalchuk, or whoever was trying to get at his goalie.
In short, Pronger was a beast. He was the star of the game. He had help - Ian Laperriere, Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Blair Betts were pretty darn good up front while Matt Carle, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn were solid on the back end, but make no mistake, this was Pronger's party, and everyone else was lucky to have an invite.
Here's another guarantee - you can count on these types of performances from Pronger as long as the Flyers' are alive and kicking.
Brian Boucher was great in goal again. He stopped 23 of 24 shots and now has allowed just 10 goals in his last six starts and has a save percentage of .935. Stellar.
As for Betts and Laperriere, they saw more ice time in Game 1 (15:15 and 15:53 respectively) than:
Dan Carcillo (11:31)
Claude Giroux (11:38)
Darroll Powe (12:51)
Arron Asham (8:29)
James van Riemsdyk (5:29)
Danny Briere (12:18)
So don't let anyone fool you into believing they're fourth liners. That duo is more important to the Flyers than mostly any pair of forwards you can put together.