VOORHEES, N.J. If patterns are to be believed, theres a very good chance defenseman Andrej Meszaros will return to the Flyers lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils.
After most of the Flyers left the ice at the conclusion of todays morning skate, only Jody Shelley, Pavel Kubina and Andreas Lilja remained on the ice for extra practice. That means, for the first time since undergoing back surgery, Meszaros departed with the regulars. Its a good indication hell play tonight.
Meszaros hasnt played since March 1 against the New York Islanders. He underwent back surgery on March 21, and was given an estimated recovery time of six to eight weeks. As of today, hes one day shy of seven weeks.
Mez has looked good for the past seven days, 10 days, coach Peter Laviolette said. He's looked good.
It wasnt just the hit
In the video posted to NHL.com explaining the reasons behind Claude Girouxs one-game suspension, discipline czar Brendan Shanahan made sure to mention more than just the hit to Dainius Zubrus head.
Shanahan called attention to Girouxs complaints to the referee after Devils goalie Martin Brodeur wasnt penalized for handling the puck outside of the trapezoid behind the Devils net.
Giroux believes his protests are a part of the reason he received the suspension.
I think thats one of the reasons I had to get a suspension, Giroux said. I was kind of frustrated that the ref didnt call Brodeur playing in that zone. I was a little disappointed that he missed that call. We could have gone on a power play there and tied the game up. What is done is done.
Kimmo Timonen addressed the media wearing a shirt that proclaimed Play Angry on his chest. And playing angry might be exactly what the Flyers need if they hope to avoid elimination tonight.
Unlike their previous series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Devils series has seemed to somehow lack passion and urgency.
I think so, Wayne Simmonds said. You gotta go into the game, you gotta go in desperate, we gotta play the best hockey we played all year. I think we know that. I think every man in here is ready.
Laviolette, however, wasnt exactly convinced.
"Did he wear that shirt just for today? I think it's just a shirt that he wears, Laviolette said. I'd like to see our team compete and play hard and do a lot of things that we've done for a majority of the year. This team knows how to compete. They know how to compete with a lot of energy and pride.
I don't think we're going to hang Kimmo's shirt behind the bench and rally behind that. I don't know if that's going to do the trick.
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