When the Bruins acquired Andrej Meszaros from the Flyers, they knew they needed to fill a void left by Seidenberg’s injury on defense.
At the time it wasn’t the sexy trade, but thus far it has worked to the Bruins advantage as they have won all three games Meszaros has been a part of. We were seeing a Bruins defense that looked uncharacteristic of them. They made life harder for the goalie as defensive breakdowns and turnovers in their own zone led to fast breaks.
Meszaros has only posted one goal, but his defensive play has led me to believe this guy is a Bruin. In the three games with the Bruins, the defense has played much better only allowing 1.3 goals per game.
Meszaros has been playing on the right side paired with Zdeno Chara where he has been a lot of his career and he can play both, which is an advantage. The big positive to bringing in Meszaros is the amount of minutes he can steal from Chara on the ice to give the Bruins captain some rest.
“Right now we know he can play left,” Julien said. “The toughest part is for a guy to play on his off side, so we’ve got him playing right in practice right now just to make sure, because he hasn’t played the right side this year. – He’s played for about 10 years on the right side, but this year he hadn’t played there. – So we’re just giving him an opportunity here to get comfortable there as well because we’re going to need him to play both sides.”
So far Meszaros’ minutes have gone down in each game he’s played, but his minutes will have to shoot up so that the Bruins can rest Chara, who is now 36 years of age. Managing Chara’s minutes seems unimportant to most, but it’s crucial for the Bruins success in the playoffs. Chara just came off a game where he played nearly 27 minutes and that’s too much.
Meszaros wasn’t the type of acquisition that makes fans jaw drop, but he is a solid defenseman and that’s exactly what the Bruins needed. The fact that he is ambidextrous on the ice helps in managing Chara’s minutes.
For today, Meszaros is sitting out of the lineup according to Joe Haggerty and Dave Goucher. It will be a long road for Meszaros to get down exactly what his role is here and may even take until the playoffs, but for now, Meszaros is fitting in just fine.