Philadelphia Flyers: Timonen and Coburn Are a Rare Combination.
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With a bit of good fortune, said injury will not force him to miss significant time.
When Kimmo was taken from the game, several thoughts occurred to me, not the least of which was the rare combination that is Timonen and blue line mate, Braydon Coburn.
These guys are in their fifth season together as a defensive combination, and the Flyers have been the better for it.
With a talented, yet sometimes erratic player like Coburn, a steadying force like Timonen is absolutely essential to successful play in front of the net.
For the moment, let us put aside the fact that both are exceptional point men on offense and the power play. For the moment, we will simply concentrate on defense and transition.
Coburn is probably one of the best passers in the entire NHL amongst defensemen. He is also a strong defender, and, for the most part, is a smart player.
However, sometimes Coburn does take chances. This pays off often with the perfectly-threaded two-line pass, and can lead to breakaways for the Flyers' big guns. Unfortunately, it can also lead to turnovers.
When this happens, Timonen is almost always there to cover Coburn's mistakes.
Coburn also has a bit of a deficiency when it comes to forwards getting around him.
Where do Timonen and Coburn rank in the NHL for defensive pairs?
Once again, it is a rarity for Timonen to not have his teammate's back when this occurs.
Conversely, when Kimmo is forced to ride a forward into the boards, it is Coburn that picks him up and covers the crease.
These two guys seem to have a level of communication that is almost natural. They work incredibly well together.
Now, for those of you who say, "Well, that's just hockey. Players work well together," yes, they do, and hockey players are amazing in that respect.
However, if you are saying that, then you simply do not see these two guys play together very often.
They are a truly underrated pair of defensemen, but are all the more important with All World defenseman, Chris Pronger, done for the year.
Let us sincerely hope that Timonen will not follow in Pronger's footsteps.
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