Friday, January 9, 2009

The Invisible Man

See that guy right there? His name is Braydon Coburn, and last night, he was the best player on the ice in the Flyers' 3-1 victory against Minnesota. Sure, the stat sheet may say that Scottie Upshall had two points, and Scott Hartnell and Mike Knuble each scored a goal, and even that Marty Biron had a nice game, stopping 27 of 28 shots.

All this is true, but none of them, and no one else for that matter, had a better game than Coburn did last night. Locked in a battle with an incredibly fierce defensive team, the Flyers found themselves in trouble quite often last night, going a man down to the 9th ranked power play in the league more than they would have liked. And on virtually every shorthanded shift, Braydon Coburn was out there dogging the puck, forcing Minnesota out of its comfort zone. Never was that more evident than in the second period, when the Flyers needed to kill 1:03 of being down two men. On that penalty kill, Coburn was outstanding, routinely using his long reach to strip the puck and firing it down the ice.

Thanks in large part to Coburn's aggressive penalty killing, the Flyers kept the Wild out of the net on all eight power play chances. A year after having a breakout season, Coburn is turning into one of the best blue liners in the NHL. With Kimmo Timonen taking the youngster under his wing, Coburn has soared to new heights. And whether you believe me or not, the 6'5" 23-year-old who almost had his face broken in last year's playoffs was hands down better than anyone else last night. And that's saying a lot.

The Flyers continued to play well, getting great shifts from Glen Metropolit, Aaron Asham and Riley Cote. And the scoring lines did their job. With Upshall filling in for Lupul on the Carter line, that line scored two goals. And Upshall's beautiful steal that led to a 2-on-1 and ultimately his goal was a thing of beauty.

With Daniel Briere coming back soon, I sure as hell hope Upshall isn't moved to make cap room. His goal iced the game, moving the Flyers two points ahead of those lousy Rangers in the Atlantic.

Right now, this team is scary. And I'm envisioning three very potent lines once this team gets healthy. Think about this combination:

1st line: Knuble-Richards-Gagne
2nd line: Hartnell-Carter-Lupul
3rd line: Giroux-Briere-Upshall
4th line: Asham-Metropolit-Cote/Gratton

That looks like three damn high-powered offensive lines and one hell of a physical fourth line. I get excited just thinking about it. It's looking like quite a promising season for the Flyers.

And as always, LET'S GO BIRDS!!!!!

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Face the fact, Philly owns New York right now.

  2. aside from winning the world series, the eagles still have not won the super yet this year, and the NHL season is only at the halfway mark. BY NO MEANS AT ALL do the Flyers own the Rangers. There is still lots of time left in the season. The Rangers are 1-0 against them so far with 5 games left to play. That's gonna be 5 more cans of whoop ass opened up for those D-bags down there. Then if by luck they should meet in the playoffs at some point, Chris Drury will score the game winner in every game breaking the backs of the Flyers as the Rangers march to the finals

  3. man, it sounds angry down there in second place.

  4. we wont be in second for long we're come to take back our rightful spot at the top. enjoy you 5 minutes for fame in first it won't last long.