Andrej Meszaros plans to keep shooting for Bruins
|03.12.14 at 1:10 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Often times, it can be a good thing if a defenseman can go unnoticed for a game, as it means he isn’t making mistakes and isn’t getting beat. It was hard to miss Andrej Meszaros in his first game as a Bruin, but it wasn’t because of miscues, but rather his willingness to shoot the puck.
Meszaros landed a team-high six shots on goal in that game, a 5-2 win over the Panthers Sunday, and one of them sailed past Roberto Luongo to make him the first Bruins defenseman to score his in Bruins debut to score since Sergei Gonchar back in 2004.
“I’d love to shoot as much as I can,” Meszaros said Wednesday. “Obviously when I have the puck, when I have the lane, I shoot it if somebody’s in front of the net. That’s what you want to do. If you shoot and get the rebound or tips, you can score goals. It’s what I’m trying to do in the offensive zone: help scoring goals. That’s what I like. If there’s a passing lane, I’ll pass it. If there’s a shooting lane, I’ll shoot it. It depends on the situation.”
Sunday’s game was the second this season in which Meszaros has landed six shots on goal, and there were a couple of reasons for it. First of all, he played 3:50 on the power play. He had two shots on goal on the man advantage, including his second-period goal.
Another reason is the fact that he was playing on the right side. A lefty, Meszaros has played on the right side for most of his career, but he was used mostly on the left side in Philadelphia this season.
Playing on the right side allows for easier one-timers from Meszaros, who showed in Sunday’s game that he has a heavy shot that’s capable of getting through from the back end.
Bruins fans grew frustrated with 2011 trade acquisition Tomas Kaberle‘s unwillingness to shoot the puck, as didn’t get a puck on net until his fourth game with the team and totaled just one shot on goal in his first five games for Boston.
Coach Claude Julien likes to see his defense willing to fire the puck regardless of who they are. Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara are the only defensemen on the team averaging two or more shots on goal per game, with Krug averaging 2.39 a night and Chara averaging 2.27 per game.
“I think I want to get shots from the point from everybody,” Julien said. “It’s more about just, play your game. If they’re going to collapse, then let’s bring it up top. If you get them spread out, then we can use those plays like any other team does. There’s not a huge secret to this game.”
Meszaros will play again Wednesday night against the Canadiens and will likely be paired with Chara again.