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Flyers: Owners of Best Third Pairing in League | November
You can believe or not believe in the +/- all you want, but there's no denying it's at least an idicator of decent play. And if you can admit that, then I can admit that it appears, up to this point, that for all the shit I give Paul Holmgren, he got something very right this off-season when he aquired Andrej Meszaros and especially Sean O'Donnell.

They're numbers 2 and 3 in the entire NHL in plus/minus - O'Donnell is plus +15 and Meszaros is +14.

Not only does this directionaly indicate that they're successful in keeping pucks out of our net, but they're also not doing it on Bartulis-Parent minutes. Meszaros is chewing up almost 19 minutes a game and O'Donnell's over 16. They both kill penalties and Meszaros gives us a fifth option at the point on the PP. They have it so no Flyer defenseman is in the top 40 in time on ice among all defensemen in the league. Yes, as you've heard a thousand times over, perenial workhorse Chris Pronger isn't even leading his own crew of defensemen in time on ice, much less the NHL.

Not having to play your superstar, big-name players half of the game has to mean that something else is working right. In this case it's the fact that, as opposed to the Cup finals last June when we might as well have dressed 14 forwards, our defense is a much more balanced unit, not leaning to heavily on a pair of legs that are a year older, and a year closer to death. (that caught me off guard too)

So Paul Holmgren, even though I'm certain you mixed up the Carter and Giroux deals, I raise my cup of coffee to you in a Sunday morning toast. If Meszaros starts to uncorck some of that offensive potential, and Sarge Bobvrosky can maintain his marathon setting pace throughout the season, you'll probably end up earning yourself a contract extension, no matter what you end up doing with our core of forwards.