Saturday, April 11, 2015

Andrej Meszaros Autographed Card

The Ottawa Senators secured their playoff spot this afternoon with a decisive win, and they'll face off against my hometown Montréal Canadiens, which means I might go watch a few games at the Corel Scotiabank Canadian Tire Center.

The Sens scare me a bit, and not just because of Andrew Hammond's incredible run, which should run out of steam at any moment; no, it's more that the Sens have taken a liking to treating the Habs as a true, bitter rival, and have gone 3-1 against them this year - and I still have not forgotten the one-sided 4-1 playoff series from a couple of seasons ago.

And Carey Price may well win all the awards next June (deservedly so), he still has only won just 4 or 5 total playoff series in 8 seasons, two of which came last year. And the Habs have one of the worse offenses in the league - and might start the playoffs without Max Pacioretty, the third best goal scorer in the NHL. It'll be a good test for the Canadiens' defense, perhaps the deepest in the Eastern Conference, and possibly the best one-two punch in the league in Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.

But back to the Sens, who were so far out of playoff contention in December when they fired their head coach Paul MacLean. Dave Cameron, who replaced him, put his faith in the team's youth, and the kids performed near-miracles, with two rookies finishing in the top-5 for rookie scoring; Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, and young veteran Kyle Turris are filling out the score sheets, as is Erik Karlsson out back, and should Hammond falter, Craig Anderson remains a very capable actual #1 goalie.

And so, in their honor, I decided to check another number off my Sens Numbers Project with #14, Andrej Meszaros, who is currently a member of the Buffalo Sabres and twice as a member of the Sens received Norris Trophy votes (finishing 16th and 17th). He had split the 2013-14 season between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins, odd teams considering he's not overly physical with his 6'2'' and 215-pound frame, as he is more of a mobile, point-producing defender who can usually be counted upon for 30-some points without necessitating first-unit powerplay time.

Here he is blasting a slap shot from the point in the Sens' former red (home) uniform, from Upper Deck's 2006-07 Series 1 set (card #137 in the series):
It was signed in person in blue sharpie, during his time with the Flyers, possibly in 2010-11 or 2011-12.

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