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Holmgren comments on injuries, Phantoms, Zherdev and more

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Paul Holmgren spoke with the media before tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He talked about everything from the injuries to Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Nodl to how he feels about the suspension to Danny Briere to what he thinks of Nikolay Zherdev.

Holmgren also commented on the current status of the Adirondack Phantoms, how good Sergei Bobrovsky has been, and why they decided to call up Eric Wellwood to replace Danny Briere in the lineup over these next three games.

Admittedly, Holmgren didn't say much. We tried to get video of the interview instead of this transcript that you can see after the jump, but the video camera was acting up. Damn technology.

See a full transcript of Holmgren's media session, courtesy of the Flyers public relations department, after the jump.

Q: I guess first off, can we get an update on Andrej Meszaros?

"Yeah, he's got a slight concussion.  He's day-to-day."

Q: He skated today though, he said things weren't too bad.

"He went through one of his tests yesterday and was just under the standard."

Q: Do you have an update or timeframe on Andreas Nodl?

"He's a possibility for Thursday, so we're just keeping him day-to-day."

Q: His shoulder?

"Upper body."

Q: Your thoughts on the [Danny] Briere suspension?

"Well, I'm not happy to lose a player like Danny for three games but it's just part of the process we have to go through and there's not a whole lot we can do about it right now. It's too bad for the team."

Q: Were you surprised with the length of the punishment?

"Not really.  I kind of felt it would be something like that because of his history."

Q: What are your thoughts on [Nikolay] Zherdev? Is it just a matter of giving him more time to adjust to the system and the language and all that stuff?

"No, I don't think it's a language issue with Nikolay.  He understands everything that's being said to him it's more of a...like a lot of our players early on, in order to have success in this league you've got to play hard early on.  He's an offensively gifted guy.  I hope to see him be more productive and in order for him to do that on our team he's going to have to be more involved in the physical, getting into those dirty areas.  I think Ville Leino is a really good example.  Really, Ville is playing on the outside a little bit, to get him what got him success last year in the playoffs - getting into the front of the net, getting the really greasy hard areas.  That's where we're trying to go with Nikolay, just trying to get him to play a single game. I think he's done that before, in the last couple years in the NHL, he was away for one year and there's a little bit of a catching up and getting back to what needs to get him..."

Q: Were you satisfied with what you saw up in New York State? Can you maybe give us a status on what's going on with the Phantoms?

"You know what? They're a young team, in terms of pro hockey; a lot of young guys. But, I think the two games I saw, [I] was pleased with how they played, pleased with how hard they worked. The first game they played Wilkes-Barre[/Scranton] and Wilkes-Barre is a good team, they hadn't lost a game yet, at least up to that point they didn't.  And, the game on Saturday was a game that could have went either way it just...things didn't work out, it was just one of those things.  Going into the third period it was tied and you kind of get the feeling that things are going bad and it's not going to turn out good.  I'm sure they'll turn it around if they continue to work hard."

Q: What was the thought process behind bringing Eric Wellwood up? Were there some other guys in the mix there?

"There were a few guys there that could have been just easily been called up.  But Eric's a kid that, right from training camp, he was a very noticeable guy in the games he played. But in the games so far for the Phantoms he's been a noticeable player. Very intelligent away from the puck and good speed."

Q: Well obviously you knew something about [Sergei] Bobrovsky to sign him, but with his play, are you kind of surprised to how well he's adapted to North America here?

"Well, yeah, I mean we expected him to be at this point. But we didn't expect to have an injury [to Michael Leighton] like we did either in training camp.  Sergei, since he's been here, all he's done is work hard.  Both off the ice and in the ice he's working to improve his communication with his teammates.  He's obviously taken a liking to what Jeff Reese is trying to get him to do. I'm not sure I answered your question...I'm surprised but obviously we're all quite pleased with how he's played."

Q: I apologize if this was asked because I missed the beginning but what's the injury updates?

"Meszaros is day-to-day with a slight concussion and Nodl is [upper body]."