Chris Pronger is sick of hearing about Dustin Byfuglien.
After a week of being swarmed with questions regarding the 6-foot-4, 270 lbs. Chicago Blackhawk forward, Pronger seems to have simply had it.
“Congratulations,” Pronger said to a media member when confronted with facts about Byfuglien scoring from the slot in the post season.
“John LeClair was pretty big. I could go down the list of guys who were pretty big in this league. If you want me to break down my credentials, I’ll do that for you. But maybe we’ll just wait for the games and see what’s going to happen. How about that?’’
But who could blame him? The week leading up the Stanley Cup Finals between the Flyers and Blackhawks has been a golden opportunity for the media to over play the Byfuglien-Pronger match up. ‘Big Buff’ likes to produce from the slot and Pronger defends the slot. Seems like a reasonable angle as ‘Buff’ has himself a five-game goal scoring streak in post season. But the media has suddenly developed a love affair with Byfuglien, portraying him as some sort of hockey-playing Titan, a legend really, that provides nightmare material for future Hall of Fame defensemen.
Every writer’s favorite Stanley Cup feature subject is the same player who netted just 34 points in 82 regular season games. That’s 10 more than Philadelphia’s Arron Asham, who played 10 less games.
Now don’t get me wrong, Byfuglien is a good player and is designed to create match up problems for the opposition. He has done it well thus far. But there is no reason to believe this media created Tomas Holmstrom-Cam Neely hybrid is going to single-handedly devour the terrified Flyers or Pronger, whose career spans 1100-plus games. With that kind of time playing hockey, pre and post lockout, there is no doubt, to the media’s chagrin, that the 6-foot-6 blue liner has tackled bigger and better than ‘Buff’.