Why Erik Gustafsson should play tomorrow

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 07: Marc Savard #91 of the Boston Bruins hits Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Wachovia Center on May 7, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Chris Pronger didn't practice today thanks to the little issue with his hand or wrist or whatever he injured last night against the Islanders. He seemed fine after the game, Paul Holmgren said he was fine, and Pronger himself spoke for a long, chatty five minutes after the game. He wasn't irritable or anything like that. Basically, there were no signs that this was a serious injury.

So I'm not concerned with a long-term thing here or anything like that, but with the Flyers all but locked into the postseason right now and a game against the worst team in the East coming up on Saturday night, I'm saying that Pronger should sit one out. Take a rest. There's no reason to play, even if he's good to go. 

For Erik Gustafsson, who was called up today as on a just-in-case basis in the event that Pronger couldn't go, there is more to play for. There's the experience factor and there's the "let's see what this kid can do" factor.

He's never played in an NHL game, and, if the Flyers can justify resting the player who plays more than anybody else on the team while also giving a good look at a player who could be used as a seventh, depth defenseman in the playoffs, why not do that?

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