For the first time this season, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to have to handle some adversity.
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren confirmed a TSN report that defenseman Chris Pronger will miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken first metatarsal bone in his right foot. Pronger suffered the injury in the second period on Wednesday's 5-3 win in Montreal.
In 31 games, Pronger has four goals and 11 assists. He's a plus-four with 24 penalty minutes and had just started looking like the Chris Pronger of last year.
The 36-year-old anchor missed all of preseason and the team's first two games because of a surgically-repaired right knee. When it was announced that he had a "lower-body injury" on Wednesday night, many wondered if he had re-injured his knee.
That's the good news—it's not his knee; however, the bad news is, well, he's going to miss up to a month.
Without Pronger in the lineup, the orange and black will turn to 23-year-old Oskars Bartulis, who hasn't played since Nov. 1. Bartulis will be paired with 39-year-old Sean O'Donnell, while Andrej Meszaros will replace Pronger on the team's top pairing with Matt Carle.
Bartulis has played three games this year, registering no points, two penalty minutes and a plus-one rating.
For the Flyers, the schedule helps them out a bit. In the next four weeks, they'll play 11 games; 17 games the next six weeks. At the same time, they'll be without their top defenseman for their West Coast trip that includes games in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Detroit.
It's going to be a big test to how good this team really is, but Holmgren has put this team in very good position to be able to withstand a month without their best defenseman.
Can the Flyers survive without Pronger in the lineup?