It would be remiss if we did not point out that the Orange & Black returned to the ice on Sunday in a sanctioned NHL game. There’s no lockout this fall because 2013 is an odd-numbered year that ends on a Tuesday, as stipulated by the collective bargaining agreement and commissioner Gary Bettman’s book of spells.
Anyway, the Flyers fell 4-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in preseason action from London, Ontario. There’s not much to talk about in the way of a recap, because I’m fairly certain nobody here at The Level saw the game, but hey hockey, good to have you back.
There was at least encouraging sign from the Flyers’ exhibition game though. Andrej Meszaros has been battling injuries for the better part of the last year and a half, not to mention has looked awfully rusty when he has managed to skate. However, according to Frank Seravalli for the Daily News, the 27-year-old defenseman was actually one of the lone bright spots on Sunday.
Last night was just the 12th game Meszaros has played since March 1, 2012 - a span of 563 days. On a night filled with defensive mishaps, as his teammates shook off the rust, Meszaros was the Flyers' one bright spot.
He looked like the Meszaros of old, active and involved in the offensive zone, skating and not playing tentative. He blasted at least four shots on Toronto's net and he quarterbacked the power play (0-for-4) with Matt Read.
"I thought he did a good job," Laviolette said. "He brought a lot of pucks to the net. Defending, I thought he did a pretty good job for us. I thought he got better as the game went on and he stayed strong for most of the game."
With most of their blueliners finally healthy heading into training camp, another season’s worth of experience for the young guys, and the offseason addition of Mark Streit, the Flyers already figured to be improved on the back end in 2013. If Meszaros can stay healthy and contribute as well, that almost seems like a bonus at this point, as it seems a lot of folks have probably written him off already.
Seravalli has much more on Meszaros and the Flyers’ return to action over the weekend.