Philly Sports Live

Coburn and Timonen have different roles two years later

In 2010, the Flyers went as far as the Stanley Cup Finals. Their top 4 defenseman at the time were Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. Fast forward two years and a few months, and Carle has signed in Tampa Bay, and the newly captained Pronger has suffered a concussion and is out for likely the rest of his career with severe post-concussion syndrome.

So now the Flyers top 4 looks like this: Timonen, Coburn, Luke Schenn, and Nicklas Grossmann. These blueliners may or may not end up being the true top four, but they are the teams’ four best d-men. Once Andrej Meszaros returns from his Achilles injury, this could change.

For most of the Flyers’ success in the playoffs (in 2010) their pairings were as follows: Carle-Pronger, Timonen-Coburn, Lukas Krajicek-Ryan Parent. Here in 2012, Krajicek and Parent are long gone, and we already talked about the top pairing. So now, it looks like Braydon Coburn is the man to be our #1 defenseman. He’s young, he’s big, he’s physical, he plays good defense and isn’t completely incompetent offensively.

In reality, Kimmo Timonen is our best defenseman, but he’s too old to be taking first defenseman minutes. By the end of the season he’s usually injured anyway (although nothing’s official, we all know it) and if we play him second-pairing minutes, he’ll be in better shape and he won’t be exhausted. Back in 2010, both were playing second pairing minutes. Carle and Pronger was the pairing, so Kimmo and Braydon could afford to make a mistake or two. But right now they don’t have that luxury. Whether or not they play on the same pairing, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen are the two most important Flyers defenseman.