Saturday, February 6, 2016

Flyers' Meszaros excited, but concerned, over Olympics

The NHL plans to send 150 of its players to the Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia.

Flyers' Meszaros excited, but concerned, over Olympics

Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The NHL plans to send 150 of its players to the Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia.

Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, says the NHL has confidence that security steps will allow things to run smoothly.

Daly, however, told the Associated Press that if the league thought there was a major security issue (read: terror threats), the NHL would not send its players.

Pulling out of the Games is a possibility, “but I don’ think it’s going to happen,” winger Jake Voracek said before the Flyers’ 5-0 win over Detroit on Tuesday. “I think the security over there is going to be very tight. I’m sure the Russians put so much effort and so much money into it that they are going to make sure that nothing happens.”

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The Flyers have five players scheduled to compete in the Olympics: Voracek (Crech Republic), Michael Raffl (Austria), Mark Streit (Switzerland), Kimmo Timonen (Finland) and Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia).

“Of course I’m worried,” said Meszaros about security issues, “but I’m trying not to think about it.”

Added Meszaros: “I’m excited to go, don’t get me wrong, but it’s obviously in the back of your mind. Everyday you’re there, you’re going to think about what’s going to happen next. But on the other hand, you’re there to focus on your job and do what you're supposed to do.”

If the NHL didn’t allow its players to compete in the Olympics, “it would be disappointing, for sure, but safety (comes) first,” Meszaros said. “…..Unfortunately, the world is what it is and the threats (are there).”

Giroux impresses. Claude Giroux showed Team Canada coach Mike Babcock what he is missing. Giroux, bypassed for an Olympic spot, had a goal and two assists as the Flyers coasted past Babcock’s Detroit Red Wings.

In his last 22 games, Giroux has 29 points.

Mason in rare company. Steve Mason recorded just the Flyers’ fourth shutout over Detroit in franchise history. The others: Bernie Parent in 1976; Wayne Stephenson in 1977; and Roman Cechmanek in 2001.

Breakaways.  It was Mason’s 21st career shutout and second as a Flyer….In franchise history, there has only been one Flyers win more lopsided against Detroit _ a 12-2 victory on Feb. 2, 1974….Luke Schenn had six hits and was plus-3 for the Flyers, who rebounded from Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Boston….Detroit has been blanked in its last three road games….Meszaros on being a healthy scratch for the second straight game and 22d time this season Tuesday: “It’s tough on your confidence, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”....The Flyers scored the first goal for just the fourth time in the last 14 games.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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