Tag Archives: Andreas Lilja

With Gustafsson Up, Lilja Top Candidate To Sit

12 Jan

He waited and waited and played five games with the Phantoms. Finally, Erik Gustafsson gets the chance to pick up where he left off. On Nov. 5, his last game with the Flyers, he was a plus-6, played a career-high 23 minutes and got his first NHL point on an assist. Then he missed almost two months of action with a wrist injury.

The Flyers called Gustafsson up on Wednesday and sent Matt Walker down to the AHL. The team has been lacking something on the blue line, not that Walker was part of the problem. He hasn’t been able to crack the lineup.

But Andreas Lilja has and he may be the one, instead of rookie Marc-Andre Bourdon, to sit as a healthy scratch. Lilja has been steadily losing ice time to Bourdon, who continues to improve and has even contributed a couple points. He had a goal in Sunday’s loss to the Senators. He seems unlikely to sit with Gustafsson back in the fold.

Some have wondered if Gustafsson has been at full strength, whether he could even take a slapshot. But he was firing from the point at Citizens Bank Park. He said that he was ready even then, but was trying not to think about a comeback to the NHL.

It was a huge disappointment for Gustafsson to miss time. When he went down injured, he was clearly playing his best hockey at the NHL level.

“It was really frustrating at the start there,” said Gustafsson last Friday. “I tried to put that aside and then when I had to have the surgery I was trying to stay positive. It was for sure really frustrating, but I’m just gonna keep working hard right now. It feels pretty good right now and I hope I get another crack at it.”

He was a plus-2 with two shots on net in the Outdoor Classic against Hershey and wants to get back to his old form. He played another game after the Outdoor Classic and registered an assist. According to Gustafsson, his conditioning was the only thing that wasn’t 100 percent. Now it will be tested at the highest level.


Injuries Pile Up, Flyers Lose Lilja For Six Weeks

25 Nov

WELLS FARGO CENTER — Bad has officially gotten worse. It’s not just Jaromir Jagr. Not just Chris Pronger, or even James van Riemsdyk. Now it’s Andreas Lilja too. After playing 9:01 of Friday’s contest, Lilja left with an injury that will further decimate the Flyers on the blue line.

In the third period, Lilja sustained a high ankle sprain. According to general manager Paul Holmgren, it will keep him on the shelf for six weeks.

Once again, it will be Kevin Marshall who has to do some quick traveling, seeing as how the Flyers play again in less than 24 hours and Chris Pronger is not yet ready to return from the virus he’s been battling.

“Chris is feeling better, but he’s still not feeling himself just yet,” said Holmgren. “We’re not sure [if it’s the flu], it’s some kind of a virus.”

The Flyers are also dangerously thin at forward as well. They have 12 healthy ones at the moment with neither van Riemsdyk nor Jagr coming back on Saturday. The hope is that van Riemsdyk won’t be out long, but Holmgren said he’s not sure if he needs to call up an extra forward.

“Obviously he’s not gonna play [Saturday],” said Holmgren. “We’ll have a better idea early in the week on James.”

Jagr said earlier in the week that he planned to sit out two games. Friday’s would qualify as the first and after Saturday’s in New York, he has five whole days to rest before the next game. Holmgren confirmed the target date saying, “we’re shooting for next Friday.”

Somehow, the Flyers have gotten away with getting bitten by the injury bug so many times.

“It gives other guys opportunities,” said Holmgren. “Obviously Matt Read and Harry Z[olnerczyk] and Zac [Rinaldo] are playing a little higher up in the lineup. Max Talbot gets more ice time. Sean Couturier gets more ice time. It’s good to see. I’m really happy with the way Marc-Andre Bourdon’s played. He’s played three good games for us and that’s a pleasant surprise.”

Flyers Split On Visor Issue

25 Oct

VOORHEES, N.J. — Each member of the team held his breath as Chris Pronger screamed in horror. Although the Flyers say he will be out two weeks with an injury to the outside of his right eye, there is no guarantee.

Two years ago, Ian Laperriere’s career was ruined when he took a puck to the face. Pronger is lucky not to have met similar fate when the stick of Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski struck him in he face.

“I think anytime somebody sees an injury to the face, especially when you know it’s that area, the first thought is ‘I hope his eyes are alright,’” said Peter Laviolette. “Certainly when he got up and off the ice the way he did and the manner in which he did, I think everybody got a pit in their stomach. It’s good that the news is good and we just need him to get rested, get back, get healthy.”

The Flyers coach used to play and he didn’t wear a visor. The only time he had one on was when he was recovering from a hit around the eye or a broken nose. Even today, he said he would “probably not” wear one. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t think they are useful though.

“Certainly they save a lot of injuries and possible eye injuries,” said Laviolette. “Some guys have been in the league a long time and I don’t think you’re gonna get a lot of them to change. Young players all coming in have them. They’re there for a reason.

“I think when people are older, they make decisions on their own, but I’ve got two boys playing youth hockey. I’m glad their faces are covered, as a parent.”

Pronger, Max Talbot, Andreas Lilja, Wayne Simmonds, Jody Shelley and Matt Walker are the only Flyers not to wear the shield. The reasons why seem to vary.

“I’m not comfortable with it,” said Walker. “I’ve never been a fan of it. It’s a personal choice; some guys have obviously worn them their whole life and are fine with them.”

He too wore the visor when injured, although he also had to wear it in juniors as all players do.

“I think it should be up to the player,” said Walker. “It’s a personal thing. It’s a safety thing, but I think it’s got to be our choice. I don’t think it’s something that should be mandatory.”

For other guys, it’s a matter of the vision. Lilja for example has trouble with the bottom edge of the visor. It affects his sightlines and where he sees the puck.

“I tried a bunch of times. I want to wear a visor but I can’t. I can’t see in it,” said Lilja who will see increased minutes with Pronger out of the lineup. “I don’t know if it’s just me, but I tried it. Every year I try it once for a couple weeks in the summer and see if I can handle it but I can’t get over it.”

However, if the technology changes, Lilja would consider trying it again.

“Yeah, of course. I’m not dumb,” said Lilja. “If I can wear a visor and see just the way I do now, I would wear it for sure.”

Some guys, like Talbot, don’t wear it because of their scrappy style of play, but understand those that do so they don’t get hit like Pronger did.

“Obviously, accidents happen,” said Talbot. “It’s unfortunate. It’s never fun to see a teammate or basically anybody in the league go down like that, but it happens. That’s the risk of our business.”

Veteran Defenseman Andreas Lilja Signs With Flyers

1 Jul

It appeared as though the Flyers were getting younger. Then they signed 39-year-old Jaromir Jagr and 35-year-old Andreas Lilja.

The veteran defenseman was signed by the Flyers, the team announced on its Twitter account. According to capgeek.com, it is a two-year deal worth $737,500 per year.

The experienced Swede was released on a tryout by the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 10, 2010, and signed a one year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

In 52 games with the Ducks he scored one goal and six assists, and had 28 penalty minutes. He will likely be the Flyers sixth defenseman.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but their former sixth blueliner, 39-year-old Sean O’Donnell, went to Chicago earlier in the day on a $850,000, one-year deal.