BY IAN MENDES
Peter Laviolette does not believe that Chris Pronger’s act of taking the puck at the end of each game in Chicago will give the Blackhawks any more motivation as the series shifts to Philadelphia.
The Flyers All-Star defenceman drew the ire of the Blackhawks – and Ben Eager in particular – after he scooped up the game puck at the final buzzer in the two games in Chicago. Traditionally, the winning team often keeps the game puck as a souvenir – especially when the Stanley Cup final is at stake.
Laviolette, however, doesn’t buy into the theory that Pronger’s actions have added fuel to Chicago’s fire.
“What is it that they’re going to do? What added incentive to they have now? They’re mad? They’re angry? I don’t know what else they’re going to do because we stole their puck. I think it’s kind of comical. If Prongs wants the puck, take it,” Laviolette said on Tuesday afternoon.
Pronger answered several questions in his media session on Tuesday, but he was not asked specifically about the puck-stealing incidents. In his post-game comments on Monday night, Pronger was short and curt when responding to the topic.
“It’s in the garbage – where it belongs,” he told Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly.
When asked if he was now collecting pucks by Panaccio, Pronger responded, “Why not? What’s wrong? It’s sitting there. What else is gonna happen to it? You got a problem with that?”
Flyers captain Mike Richards echoed Laviolette’s comments on Tuesday, saying that Pronger’s actions should be taken with a grain of salt.
“I don’t have a problem with it. If he wants to grab the puck, let him have the puck,” said Richards. “You can tell him not to take it if you want, but I’m not going to.”
Laviolette ended his press conference on Tuesday by assuring people that the puck-stealing escapades were not part of his message to the team during their afternoon meeting.
“We did not talk about who is going to steal the puck in Game 3,” he joked.