Tag Archives: Andrej Meszaros

Schenn, Meszaros, Briere Return To Practice

6 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers are getting healthier, slowly but surely. They were missing three players due to maintenance days on Monday, but all three returned on Tuesday.

Andrej Meszaros took a big hit at the end of the Phoenix Coyotes game on Saturday and is probably still recovering from it a bit, but he went full throttle in practice on Tuesday and, according to multiple reports, will play on Wednesday.

Danny Briere was sick and missed Monday’s activities, but was on the ice on Tuesday and showed no ill effects.

Brayden Schenn was not on the ice at the start of practice, but eventually joined his teammates and was a full participant as well. With him in the lineup and James van Riemsdyk likely to return, the Flyers will have yet another new look.

Here is the projected lineup against the Sabres based on the practice lines:

Scott Hartnell — Claude Giroux — Jaromir Jagr
Wayne Simmonds — Danny Briere — Matt Read
James van Riemsdyk — Brayden Schenn — Jakub Voracek
Max Talbot — Sean Couturier — Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen — Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle — Marc-Andre Bourdon
Kevin Marshall — Andrej Meszaros

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Sloppy Play Against St. Louis Gives Flyers Another Loss

22 Oct

WELLS FARGO CENTER — The Flyers preached sustained offensive pressure and responsibility for stick infractions at Friday’s practice, but with three new lines for the second straight game, the Flyers weren’t able to get it going in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues had played on Friday night, but it was the Flyers who came out without their skating legs. Less than two minutes into the game, the Flyers had already iced the puck, bringing the play back to their end. On the ensuing faceoff, in the Flyers’ end, Kent Huskins scored on a shot from the point that appeared to go off the bottom of Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove.

The Flyers, on the other hand, took seven minutes to register their first shot. They finished the first period with only six.

“It’s disappointing,” said Danny Briere. “They did to us exactly what we were supposed to do to them, which is come out strong, put the puck behind them, make their defenesmen work. It looked like we were the team traveling all night. We had no legs skating. Our execution was the worst it’s been all year.”

Their play was sloppy from the get-go. Midway the first period, Andrej Meszaros lost the puck and hooked Carlo Colaiacovo who skated in to the Flyers’ end while the official raised his arm for a delayed penalty. Colaiacovo took a shot, which was saved by Bryzgalov, but the rebound went to T.J. Oshie who buried it for his first goal of the season.

Their play looked even sloppier when Max Talbot, one of their best penalty killers, went off for holding as time was winding down in the first period.

In the second, the Flyers came out with the fire that Peter Laviolette said he wanted to see to begin the game. Only 56 seconds in, Chris Pronger made an outlet pass to Wayne Simmonds who found Danny Briere ahead of him. Briere, who had only one goal on the season, carried into the zone and down the right wing. He sniped a shot over the shoulder of Brian Elliott and in to cut the lead down.

“If we would have played like we did most of that second period during the whole game, we had them hemmed in their end for probably 10 minutes of the 20,” said Pronger. “Didn’t get much out of it, but we controlled the play and worked it. We were skating, but again, we’ve got to do that for 60 minutes to make it tough for teams to play in here and be more physical.”

St. Louis got the goal back when Bryzgalov saved a shot by Alexander Steen on his left side, but the rebound went the wrong way and Colaiacovo found it and pounded it home when Meszaros couldn’t clear the crease.

“I yell it, ‘puck in the feet,’ and somehow puck ended on the far post,” said Bryzgalov. “I didn’t see what happened.”

The third period found more of the same for the Flyers. They struggled to get pressure in close against the St. Louis net. That is, however, until they were on a power play when Roman Polak went off for high sticking. The Flyers got to cycling the puck down low and Matt Carle shot the puck on net. It was originally called no-goal, but a replay showed the puck on its edge behind the goalline.

With Scott Hartnell off for cross checking, the Blues, who have one of the league’s worst power plays, got one of the easiest goals they’ll have all season. Bryzgalov went to play the puck and left it to his left, assuming Braydon Coburn was going to pick it up. Coburn skated away and Matt D’Agostini tipped the puck into the empty net to make it a 4-2 game with 5:40 to go.

“Bad communication, somebody yells ‘I’ll get it’ and they don’t get it,” said Bryzgalov.

“I was ready for a bit and then the closer and closer I got to him, then I thought he was making a different play,” said Coburn. “That’s on me. I’ve always got to be on my toes there.”

They never got closer and the Blues skated away with a hard-earned win over a team that didn’t look ready to face them.

Mike Richards Among Surgically Repaired Flyers

11 May

Flyers captain Mike Richards had successful surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left wrist, the team announced late Wednesday afternoon. He will begin his rehab in four weeks.

Richards is one of a few Flyers to go under the knife this offseason. His injury seemed to affect him throughout the year. The captain had only four goals in the final 21 games of the regular season and scored one goal in the playoffs. Richards’ assist total went up 12 from last year, so the injury probably affected his shot greatly.

“I think Mike’s dealt with this little wrist injury really since training camp,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Tuesday. “It hasn’t kept him out of the lineup, but it has inhibited his play, certain aspects of his play. I think it’s affected his performance in the faceoff circle. I think it’s affected his shot to some degree.”

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros had a similar surgery. His was successful to repair torn cartilage and a torn ligament in his right wrist.

Blair Betts’ left pinky finger was repaired. He will also begin rehabilitation in four weeks.

Goalie Michael Leighton had surgery on Wednesday as well to repair a torn labrum in his hip. No word yet on the result or on potential recovery time.

Andrej A Giant For the Flyers

10 Apr

WELLS FARGO CENTER — A second-round pick. That’s all he cost. And people actually complained about it. They said he was washed up. They said his tenure in Ottawa was a fluke.

Those people are singing a different tune these days. Andrej Meszaros has been the keystone of the Flyers defense. Before Saturday’s game Meszaros was chosen as the recipient of the Barry Ashbee award for the Flyers top defenseman. He had no idea and quickly removed his helmet and tossed his gloves to hop over the boards and accept the award.

“Well, it’s an honor,” Meszaros said at intermission. “I had no idea and I don’t know who votes for that, but I’m obviously very pleased and honored. I didn’t think it was going to be me really, but I’m very happy about it.”

Meszaros has had a great regular season tallying eight goals, 24 assists and a plus-30 rating. Those numbers are second only to his rookie season in Ottawa when he was slightly better in each category. Regardless, on the final game of the regular season, he posted a four-point night and that is the best of his career.

“It’s the first time, yeah,” Meszaros said. “I’m glad that I got it. It was an important game. The team effort counts first and individuals second.”

His individual effort has helped the Flyers all season. He leads the team in plus/minus rating, and has been incredibly versatile for the Flyers. On Saturday night for instance, he played 3:33 on the power play and 2:00 on the penalty kill to go along with his 14:39 of even strength time. To him, it doesn’t matter how he gets his ice time, as long as he’s helping the team.

“We had a great start and we went off and it wasn’t our best effort that we had,” Meszaros said. “But we got it done. We got the two points and that’s where it matters right now. We are going to get rest now and get ready for the playoffs.”

Meszaros has only been in the playoffs three times in his career and hasn’t been there since 2006. He was extra motivated to come here to Philadelphia and not only help the team to postseason berth, but further.

He began the season on the third pairing with Sean O’Donnell and ever since he’s ascended to the point of best-defenseman status. Now he’s trying to help his team to a series win against Buffalo.

“I feel great,” Meszaros said. “You can’t really pick a team in the playoffs. You just have to see who you get and go from there. It’s going to be a great matchup. I’m looking forward to that.”

Flyers Still Searching For Consistent Effort

25 Mar

WELLS FARGO CENTER – There have been two questions recently surrounding the Flyers.

The one regarding the goaltending seems at least close to being answered after Sergei Bobrovsky followed a poor effort against Washington with an acrobatic clinic on Thursday night where he single-handedly stole a point from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The second one, questioning why the Flyers can’t play a solid 60 minutes for an extended stretch of games, remains unanswered.

“Every game is a different game,” Kimmo Timonen said. “It doesn’t matter if you play really well the game before but then you have to put that behind and focus on a new game. It looked like today we were unable to do that.”

“I would agree with that,” Peter Laviolette said. “There is no excuse for it. We were not sharp tonight. We got beat in most areas and if it weren’t for our goaltender, we wouldn’t have gotten any points tonight.”

The Flyers wanted March to be a tune-up for the playoffs, not spring break. To some extent, the Flyers have showed more of the latter. They’ve taken shifts, even periods off when they needed to keep their foot on the gas pedal and it’s cost them points and certainly wins.

Although you wouldn’t know it from their play recently, the Flyers have earned points in eight straight games going 4-0-4 in that span. Thursday against Pittsburgh they flat out stole a point, one they know they didn’t earn.

“[Against Washington] we deserved two points, we didn’t get one,” Danny Briere said. “I didn’t think [against Pittsburgh] we deserved one, but we got one back. I guess that’s the positive. Bob played a great game for us and gave us a chance to steal another point.”

“It was just a bad effort,” Timonen said. “I don’t know if you call that ‘[playing] not to lose,’ but it wasn’t a great effort at all. Like I said, we are lucky to get one point out of this. To be honest with you, we need to get back to work tomorrow.”

This is a mantra we’ve heard from the Flyers all month. They don’t know why the effort isn’t there. They need to put more work in and they expect more from themselves. After Thursday’s loss to Pittsburgh, the Flyers had played in four straight shootouts and had five of their last six games go past regulation. But their captain doesn’t want to use fatigue as an excuse.

“I’m not sure,” Mike Richards said. “I don’t have an answer to that. Some nights you just don’t have your legs. We can’t use that as an excuse. We have to find a way and will it through the game. I thought we could have done a better job than that tonight and played more physical.”

The Flyers have been down this road before and not so long ago, either. But the other times they couldn’t find the answers, they had a little bit of padding left in their schedule.

“Luckily we had Bob,” Andrej Meszaros said. “He kept us in the game. He was unbelievable, but we can’t have those kind of games close to the playoffs.”

There are no shootouts in the playoffs; one point won’t help the Flyers when their season is on the line. Now only nine regular season games remain. The Flyers have to hope there’s still time to make everything work.

“[Thursday night], certainly there’s a lot to talk about from our end,” Laviolette said. “On where we go, what we did, and what we certainly need to do better.”

Andrej Meszaros Has Become Key For Flyers Blueline

23 Mar

VOORHEES, N.J. – He’s not Chris Pronger, but the way the Flyers have relied on Andrej Meszaros recently, you might understand the comparison.

Even before Pronger was sidelined with a broken hand, Meszaros assumed responsibilities both offensively and defensively.

Acquired over the offseason for a second-round pick in 2012, the former member of the Lightning has missed only one game so far this season and the iron man is looking more like the defenseman he was in Ottawa than the guy Steve Yzerman parted with.

“I didn’t change anything,” Meszaros said. “I just try to play hard and aggressive like I’ve been before. I’m not trying to do too much out there. As a style, I haven’t changed.”

As the season winds down, Meszaros has become one of the more clutch performers on the Flyers’ blueline. He’s joined a supporting cast that has taken over the starring role as a unit for the Flyers defense.

“With Prongs out of the lineup guys like me and [Meszaros] and [Carle] need to step up and take a big chunk of those minutes and as a team, we’ve done pretty well,” fellow blueliner Braydon Coburn said.

Meszaros has done his part. He’s been everything for the Flyers’ defensive corps. He’s covered up mistakes by his teammates. He’s made solid defensive plays. He’s been physical (see: Chimera hit from Tuesday). He’s even scored timely goals, pitching in for an already potent offense.

“I just try to shoot the puck as much as I can,” Meszaros said. “Every partner I’ve had, they try to pass it to me and I try to hit the one-timer. If you don’t shoot, you won’t score so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Even though Meszaros isn’t a top-six forward, don’t think he’s not counting the points.

“So far six [goals],” Meszaros said with a chuckle. “We’ve got 10 more [games] so we’ll see.”

Two of Meszaros’ six goals have been overtime winners. He knows how to make them count, although he’ll take four more to match his career-high any way he can take them.

With Pronger out 22 games so far this season, the title of “best blueliner” would come from the aforementioned supporting cast of Meszaros, Coburn, Carle and Kimmo Timonen.

“It’s not just one guy making plays, but all guys are making plays and it’s easier on everybody, I think,” Meszaros said. “When you play a lot of minutes, you can rely on your partner too. When you help each other it’s an easy game for you.”

Each of the defensemen has had his minutes jacked up this month, although you won’t hear them complain about. On Tuesday night, Meszaros set a season-high for ice time for the second game in a row with 29 minutes played.

He’s played with nearly every other defenseman on the Flyers roster and made them look better for it. Meszaros is, perhaps, having the best season of any of the blueliners.

Flyers Defense Shouldering Burden On Blueline

20 Mar

When Chris Pronger appeared at the Wells Fargo Center a week ago with a cast on his hand, plenty of people worried. General Manager Paul Holmgren however, was not one of them.

“Not at all,” the general manager said. “Some of that is because of our depth at defense. I happen to like it when Meszaros, Carle, and Coburn play more minutes. I don’t think that’s the issue.”

Holmgren has gotten that wish. Those three defensemen have shouldered the load for the Flyers while their top blueliner recovers from hand surgery.

Regardless of Pronger’s injury, Peter Laviolette has said that the month of March will be used as preparation for the playoffs, and that means increased minutes for everyone. The defensive corps will see the biggest increase in minutes, but the past couple of games Andrej Meszaros, Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle have racked up the minutes and stepped up for their team.

On Saturday night Meszaros played a season-high 28 minutes, 22 seconds. It’s the most he’s played in a game since he played 29 minutes, 51 seconds for Tampa Bay in 2008.

Meszaros has averaged more than 25 minutes over the past three games. Those are Pronger-type numbers. He’s also chipped in offensively with a pair of assists on Saturday night.

Without registering a point in his last seven games, Coburn has been a huge force on the Flyers blueline lately. He logged 27 minutes, 38 seconds against Dallas. On Saturday he was second on the team in shots with four, made bone-crushing checks and blocked three of the Flyers’ 23 blocked shots.

“He was awesome [against Dallas],” Laviolette told reporters Saturday night. “I thought all our guys were good but Braydon certainly was really good. He was physical, strong in the battles and logged a lot of minutes. He did a terrific job for us.”

Coburn also was noticeable against his old team the Atlanta Thrashers. He logged 28 minutes, 35 seconds in that game and was nearly as physical as he was in Dallas.

Carle has also been a driving force lately. When he was first paired with Pronger last season, the consensus seemed to be that Pronger made him a better player. This year he’s been playing just fine in Pronger’s absence.

He notched two assists Saturday night which gave him 33 on the season, a new career high. He also blocked a team-high five shots and although it was he who could have stepped up on Stephane Robidas, Carle made a few great defensive stops to keep his team in the game.

The void Pronger left was debilitating on the surface, but the Flyers have been able to compensate because of the depth they’ve acquired defensively. The aforementioned trio has stepped up to take the pressure off of the shoulders of veteran Kimmo Timonen who was fourth in ice time on Saturday.