Flyers Notes: Andreas Lilja getting ice time

Posted: October 16, 2011

Flyers Notes

Andreas Lilja, the least-heralded of the Flyers' highly regarded defensemen, had just finished doing a pregame interview Saturday night when teammate Max Talbot walked past him.

"Great job," Talbot kidded.

"I learned everything from watching you on 24/7," Lilja cracked, referring to the HBO series in which Talbot, a former Penguin, was one of the main "characters" leading to last January's Winter Classic.

It's easy for Lilja to be upbeat. After a strong preseason, he has been taking a regular shift on one of the NHL's best defensive units.

Lilja, signed as a free agent in the offseason, started his fourth straight game Saturday and again was paired with Andrej Meszaros.

"He's been really strong, especially the first couple games," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said before Saturday's game against Los Angeles. "He's aggressive within our system, which I like to see. . . . He stands up in the neutral zone, and he's made good plays out of our end."

Laviolette said "in a quick snapshot" the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lilja reminds him of Sean O'Donnell, the Flyers' sixth defenseman last season who is now with Chicago.

"They're both stay-at-home defenseman, and they can play physical and defend the net," Laviolette said.

 

Richards' return

Former Flyers captain Mike Richards received mostly cheers, mixed with some boos, when he was introduced as part of the Kings' starting lineup.

In the first period, his photo was shown on the scoreboard, and public-address announcer Lou Nolan thanked him for his six years with the Flyers. Richards received a standing ovation, with a smattering of boos. He was booed loudly almost every time he carried the puck.

Earlier in the day, Richards said he just wanted to play the game and move on.

Asked if he was curious about how the fans would treat him, Richards said: "No. I've been booed and cheered in every barn, so it won't be anything new. I'm not concerned about that."

Did he have a message for the fans?

"I don't have a message," he said. "I'm coming here to play hockey. . . . I'm just treating it like any other hockey game."

- Sam Carchidi

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