A DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENT; PRAYERS ANSWERED?

Monday, 10.28.2013 / 6:05 PM
Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter

VOORHEES, N.J. – So, Andrej Meszaros will be back in the lineup for the Flyers tomorrow against the high-powered Anaheim Ducks (nee: Mighty).

Head coach Craig Berube said he wanted to get Meszaros back into the lineup after sitting out the past five games.

Meszaros will replace Erik Gustafsson in the lineup. Gustafsson had a rough night on defense against the New York Islanders, one of the few Flyers who wasn’t clicking on all cylinders.

Many will view this as a demotion for Gustafsson, but I’m told it’s not that, but more a chance to get Meszaros feeling good about himself again.

After all, and this is no disrespect to Gustafsson, but it’s not like Meszaros in replacing Kimmo TImonen or Braydon Coburn. He’s flip-flopping with the other No. 6 defenseman.

“I’ve done the same thing with [Adam Hall] and [Jay] Rosehill,” Berube said. “It’s a matter of matchups and keeping these guys knowing that they are part of the team and they are going to be able to help the team. I’ll give [Meszaros] tomorrow and then probably another game and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Berube later added that Gustafsson had been playing well before the Islanders game and that the young defenseman should not view this as a demotion, but rather understand that it’s part of the rotation.

Berube pointed out that all the players in the room “get it” and understand how this is going to work. He especially had glowing things to say about Hal Gill, who is clearly the No. 8 defenseman.

“Hal knows what his role is here,” Berube said. “He is the ultimate pro. Everyone can learn a lot from a guy like him.”

Having Gill in practice every day is like having another defensive coach on the ice from whom the young players can glean good information.

Berube also like having eight defensemen in practice.

It makes things easier for what we have to do and keeps guys working with their partners and not trading off all the time to be with the odd guy.

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Flyers Chairman Ed Snider spent last week in Rome. While there, he was able to take audience with Pope Francis.

Snider is Co-Chairman and member of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation who were asked by the Pope to visit the Vatican last week.

Snider was part of a 60-member Simon Wiesenthal Center delegation that included Holocaust survivors, Christians and a prominent Muslim who met with Pope Francis at a private meeting in the Vatican.

"It was a very informative meeting," said Snider. "We discussed anti-semitism and discussed the Pope's upcoming visit to Israel and the significance of his trip."

Since Snider met the Pope the Flyers are 2-0.

"I think that's a coincidence," joked Snider. "I'd like to think he had something to do with it, but I think the team is finally turning it around and have learned [Coach Craig Berube’s] system."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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