Archive for Braydon Coburn

Updates: The Time is Now

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , on November 14, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

With the Flyers coming to terms with Jeff Carter yesterday on an 11-year deal, the team has set itself up to have a sturdy core of capable offensive stars for the next few years.  The problem is, just like last season’s Chicago Blackhawks, the Flyers will likely have to bid adieu to a few of their key elements on this team this coming off-season, because of the fact that the team is incredibly close to the $59.7 million salary cap.

Leino and the Flyers should come to terms in the near future

The team will likely re-sign Ville Leino in the coming weeks and months, but in terms of any other players inking with the Orange and Black, that is just merely speculation.  When the Flyers re-sign Leino, it makes it almost a definite that the team will deal a defenseman (Braydon Coburn or Matt Carle) this off-season.

Of course, first a foremost, the Flyers must remain relatively healthy this season, but there appears to be one clear message during this current campaign: the time is NOW to win the franchise’s third Stanley Cup.  Obviously it’s a long season, and the Flyers have only played 15 games of an 82 game slate, but looking at it in the big picture, they are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Washington Capitals as both teams have 22 points, and they are in first place in the Atlantic Division, five points ahead of the second place Penguins.

The season is a long haul, but there’s no reason why we in Philadelphia can’t believe.  Check out Sam Carchidi’s write up in the Inquirer today:  WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY MAY BE SHORT

Updates: Blue Line Blues on Goal Scoring Front

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Lost in the coverage of the Flyers’ lack of offensive output from their forwards thusfar this season has been the fact that the men manning the blue line haven’t exactly been depositing the puck into the back of the net.

Actually, come to think of it, they haven’t put a single puck in the net thus far this season.

Matt Carle is a member of a Flyers defensive unit that is goal-less this season

Obviously, with a group back there consisting of Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Sean O’Donnell, and Andrej Meszaros, I think that may people – myself included – certainly feel that this unit should be producing far more than they have so far.  Instead, that hasn’t happened, and entering action last night only the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings hadn’t had a goal this season from a defenseman.  A big way to get the defensemen involved is to convert powerplay opportunities – another aspect that the Flyers have struggled with this season.  They have been “too pretty” with the man advantage – passing the puck around until they can pass it no longer – and not just taking the old fashioned approach and feeding it to a defenseman for a rip from the point.  Hopefully, that technique will change tonight, and a defenseman will score against Pittsburgh.  For the record, I think the slump on the blue-line stops tonight against Pittsburgh, and Matt Carle is the goal scorer.

Frank Seravalli has taken note of this issue as well, and has an article on the topic here: FLYERS DEFENSEMEN NEED TO CHIP IN WITH SCORING

Training Camp: Philly Feels Like Home for Walker

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

When Matt Walker was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers this summer, he was one of the few people associated with the Philadelphia area excited about his arrival.

You see, Matt Walker was what the Flyers got in exchange when they traded Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  They received a fourth round pick as well, but Walker is the only able body that can appear in a Flyers uniform at the moment.

If Matt Walker does this to Sidney Crosby, Flyers fans will love him

Frank Seravalli, of the Daily News, has more on Walker’s beginnings as a Flyer today in both the print and online form of the paper.  After reading Seravalli’s article, maybe there’s reason to give Walker a chance with the Flyers.  First and foremost, Seravalli compares Walker to the “defensive version of Ian Laperriere”.  Is he even allowed to do that?  With the soft spot that all Flyers fans now have with Lappy, being compared to #14 means that Walker now has a lot to live up to.

Still, Seravalli points out that in coming to Philadelphia, Matt Walker feels like he is coming home.  The 6’2” 230+ pound defenseman who makes a living blocking shots as opposed to taking them told the Flyers beat writer, “I’ve been watching them [the Flyers] ever since I was a kid.  [Tough hockey] has always been their reputation, so I’ve always had a little bit of a soft spot for them.”  Walker goes on to say that he was “pretty excited” when he found out he had been traded to the Flyers in the off-season.

While Walker is excited to be here, it’s hard for me to believe he’s going to be playing all that much once this season moves from the “Pre” variety.  The Flyers have a solid set of six proven and skilled defensemen in Chris Pronger, Sean O’Donnell, Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, and Andrej Meszaros.  After that, Walker and Oskars Bartulis are left to compete for the 7th and 8th slots, which actually aren’t as much slots as they are seats in the press box.  Still, Walker is a cap hit of over a million dollars this season, so it’s difficult to fathom that the Flyers would dump that salary to the Adirondacks and have him play for the Phantoms.

Depth, especially defensively, is always a good thing.  But it’s hard for me to believe that Walker will be among the top six for the Flyers on the blue-line if the aforementioned six defensemen are all healthy.  With that being said, if Chris Pronger’s knee doesn’t heal as well as he and the Flyers would have liked come time for the season opener, it’s a safe bet Walker will be his replacement in Pittsburgh on October 7th.

You can check out Seravalli’s entire piece here: WALKER FEELING RIGHT AT HOME WITH FLYERS’ DEFENSIVE CORPS

Training Camp: Pronger Progressing; Loves the Defense

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Chris Pronger is still a little ways away from officially returning to the Flyers full time after having arthroscopic knee surgery on July 27, but that doesn’t mean the future Hall of Famer isn’t doing everything he possibly can to make sure that he can be prepared to play at the highest level come opening night.  The Daily News‘ Frank Seravalli has more on this in today’s edition.

Chris Pronger anchors arguably the NHL's best defense in 2010-'11

Seravalli makes note that Pronger’s time on the ice over the past five days has been his first time skating since the Flyers lost in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final on June 9.  The Flyers defenseman also caught a bit of flack from the general public for having the surgery done so late in the off-season, instead of just having it done after the Flyers season came to an end, but Pronger explains to Seravalli, he “wanted to see if it could heal itself.  It didn’t get much better – or any better at all. Ultimately, we found some things in [an] MRI and I had surgery the next week. I don’t know if I could have sped up the process at all.”

Later in the article, Pronger also notes how pleased he is with General Manager Paul Holmgren’s re-tooling of the Flyers’ blueline in the off-season.  A potent foursome of Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle are joined by the likes of Andrej Meszaros, Sean O’Donnell, and Matt Walker to make up what Pronger calls “one of the deepest units” he’s played with over his 16 year NHL career.  It’s hard to argue with him – the top six for the Flyers are going to be a talented bunch, and although there are certainly some older legs back there, it’s hard to argue against his opinion of the blueline.

To check out of all of Frank Seravalli’s article, click here: PRONGER, HEALING AFTER SURGERY, TOUTS FLYERS DEFENSIVE DEPTH

On the Defensive: Flyers Trade for Meszaros, Re-Sign Coburn

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , on July 1, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Apparently, Paul Holmgren and the Flyers are buying into the old adage that says defense wins championships.

Before the free agency frenzy even began today, Homer made a bold move by sending a second round pick in the 2012 draft to Tampa Bay for hard hitting, and talented defenseman Andrej Meszaros.  While Meszaros is a substantial cap hit at $4 million, he also supplies the Flyers with a finishing touch on what may just be the best defensive unit the NHL will see this season.  If not, it certainly will be the most expensive.

Meszaros immediately bolsters the Flyers' blue-line

Of course, that is because mere minutes after Meszaros became a Flyer, the Orange and Black resigned Braydon Coburn to a 2 year, 6.4 million dollar deal.  Now, the top five for the Flyers will be as good as anyone elses in the NHL, with Chris Pronger, Matt Carle, Kimmo Timonen, Coburn, and Meszaros all there to wreak havoc on the blue line.  The Flyers certainly appear to be in incredible shape defensively for next season, but the Salary Cap is still a huge concern.  The Flyers have about $2 million in hand and still need to resign both Dan Carcillo and Darroll Powe, who both received qualifying offers.  There are rumors the Flyers are also still in on Colby Armstrong, who would be a great depth winger for the Flyers, but it’s hard for me to believe they are going to be able to afford him.

After all the early day dust settles, only one thing can be certain: the Flyers almost inevitably will have to move a contract to make room for what’s transpired.

Player Report Card: Braydon Coburn

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , on June 29, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

NAME: Braydon Coburn

POSITION: Defenseman

Regular Season Statistics: 81 Games Played – 5 Goals, 14 Assists, 19 Points.  -6.

Analysis:  After putting up 36 points and 28 points respectively in his first two full seasons as a Flyer, Coburn experienced a bit of a drop off in his production this past season.  Counted on by many to have his game grow playing alongside his childhood hero Chris Pronger, Coburn instead did the opposite.  As a result, he was subject to harsh criticism from the Philadelphia media and really struggled to perform consistently at a high level throughout the course of the season.  In the past, one facet of his game that Coburn has wowed people with is his speed and ability to control the puck and make things happen in the offensive zone while being above average defensively.  This year, his offensive production significantly dropped, and his defensive skills were little to non existant.

Postseason Statistics: 23 Games Played – 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 4 Points. -2

Analysis: After a sub-par regular season, Coburn certainly stepped it up in the playoffs.  However, it wasn’t that hard for him to improve upon what was a dreadful first half.  Part of the reason Coburn improved in the playoffs was simply because he had to.  Logging over 25+ minutes of ice time a game gave him little room for error, and, as a result, forced him to be a more significant contributor to the Flyers’ nightly effort.  I still feel that Coburn was more of a liability than a positive for the Flyers defensively for the better part of the postseason, but given what the team accomplished it’s hard to say he brought them down too much. 

FINAL GRADE: C

Reasoning: Coburn’s regular season was, by all accounts, an extreme disappointment.  For a player entering a contract year, Coburn could have been far better in Orange and Black this year.  He knows it.  The Flyers know it.  He’ll likely go into arbitration with the Flyers this offseason and get a pretty penny to his name based upon his prior achievements in a Flyers uniform.  Still, however, he will need to earn that money with his play this season.  Simply put: last year’s Coburn won’t cut it this year. The Flyers will need the 2007-’08 Coburn if they are to make a serious attempt at defending their Eastern Conference Crown in 2010-2011, and an effort from Coburn similar to this year won’t be nearly enough.  He was counted on this season to be a horse, and he wasn’t.  The same exact expectations will be placed upon him before next season.  Will he answer the bell?

Updates: Coburn A Weak Link

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , on April 10, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Anyone who has followed this blog, and my opinions in recent weeks knows what I think about Braydon Coburn.  The Flyers defenseman has been, by far, the biggest disappointment on the blue-line for the team this season and has been more of a liability than a reliability when out on the ice at times.

Coburn is in the midst of his worst season as a Flyer

Last night proved to be my emotional tipping point when it comes to Mr. Coburn.  In what looked like an innocent face-off in the Flyers’ end during the first period, Coburn was found out of position against the Rangers’ FOURTH LINE and allowed Jody Shelley to score his first goal of the season to put the Rangers ahead 2-1.  While it wasn’t the game winner, the goal did prove to be crucial, as it sent the Flyers to the dressing room at the end of the first stanza down by a goal.

However, although last night put me over the edge, it wasn’t the lone instance that annoys me when it comes to Coburn.  In fact, his mistakes have been an ongoing trend all season.  Perhaps I’m bitter that my pre-season prediction as the “Player to Watch” on the Flyers’ blue-line has – for lack of a better word – sucked this season.  Or maybe it’s just the fact that anyone can see plainly with their eyes that this defenseman we expected so much from is, quite simply, not that good.  It’s difficult to fathom, of course.  And for good reason: if you would have told me in the beginning of this year that I would be willing to trade Braydon Coburn for a bag of pucks (I’m serious) by the end of the season, I probably would have laughed in your face.  Nonetheless, so is the predicament that the Flyers and Coburn have brought upon themselves.

If the Flyers miss the post-season, Coburn will be one of the main reasons

Statistically, this is Coburn’s worst season as a Flyer, and it comes at the most puzzling time.  Two years ago, his first full season in Philadelphia, Coburn became a dependable player on the blue-line 9 goals and 27 assists for 36 points, his best point totals in his NHL career.  Last year, Coburn experienced a bit of a drop off, but was solid nonetheless, scoring 7 times and adding 21 assists for 28 points.  With that being said, it was entirely reasonable to expect Coburn to have possibly his best year yet as his self-proclaimed “childhood idol” had joined the team this past off-season in the form of Chris Pronger.  While Coburn supposedly had a poster of Pronger above his bed as a youngster, it’s pretty doubtful there are many young Flyers fans in the hunt for Braydon Coburn posters to gaze at before they fall asleep at night.  Coburn has five goals and 14 assists, while posting a minus-6 this season.  In fact, come to think of it, that poster investment could be a waste of money; tomorrow may mark Coburn’s last game as a Flyer.

General Manager Paul Holmgren has already said he intends to make “major changes” to the core of this Flyers team this off-season.  Presumably, he is talking about the players – like Coburn – who the Flyers expected more out of this season and instead are getting infinitely less.  Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell also fall into this category.  Last week, it was reported that Braydon Coburn was offered a two-year extension from Holmgren as the Restricted Free Agent to be’s contract expires at the end of this season.  The catch in the story was that the contract was offered by Holmgren to Coburn’s agent, then not forwarded by the agent to his client.  The rumor, of course, was that the contract offer was so demeaning that Coburn’s agent refused to pass the offer onto the Flyers defenseman for fear of insulting him.  Perhaps this offer should be looked at in a different light: (Holmgren) “We know you’ve been pretty bad here this year, but we’re still willing to ride this one out with you and see if you can live up to your potential.  However, you haven’t necessarily earned the right to command a decent contract.”  I think that’s simple enough, and probably the truth.

Coburn in 2009-'10 = Huge Letdown

To be honest, who knows what Coburn’s going to command financially at the end of this season.  Coburn is making 1.4 million dollars this season, and it’s hard to imagine a giant raise would be in store for him this off-season, whether he signs in Philadelphia or elsewhere.  My take on it is simply this: Coburn has hurt the Flyers recently far more than he’s helped them.  Last night, in the most important game of the season to date, was another prime example of how ineffective Coburn actually is.

Coach Laviolette should sit him and bring in Oskars Bartulis for the regular season finale.  Sit Coburn down and show him that his spot on this team is not guaranteed, especially when he plays the way he has recently.  Show him that as quickly as he’s earned a spot in this line-up, he can lose it quicker.  Most of all, show the man some humility.  Put him in his place, and make him determined to work harder.  Oskars Bartulis is no Norris Trophy candidate either, but it’s fair to say that he can’t be any worse than Coburn has been in the most recent stretch of games.  The Flyers have to do both themselves and Coburn a favor and make sure he doesn’t appear in the line-up tomorrow against New York.  If he does, there stands a very good chance that they may have written their last page on this season.

And Coburn would have the honor of adding the final period.