Tag:Braydon Coburn
Posted on: February 18, 2012 3:55 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 6:27 pm
 

Watch: Matt Cooke's rare 3-on-5 goal

By: Adam Gretz

When the Penguins and Flyers get together you can be sure that it's going to be a ridiculous game. Saturday's 6-4 Pittsburgh win in Philadelphia was no exception. There were penalties, a questionable hit from behind by Jordan Staal, and Matt Cooke scoring a rare 3-on-5 shorthanded goal, the Penguins' second shorthanded goal of the game, with both coming on the same penalty kill.

Check out Cooke's goal, which gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead late in the second period.



How rare is a 3-on-5 goal? Consider that it was the first one in the NHL this season, and that since the start of the 2005-06 season there were only 10 such goals scored across the entire league before Cooke found the back of the net. If you go back as far as the 1997-98 season, there were only 20 shorthanded goals scored in those situations before Saturday.

Former Flyers forward Mike Richards has actually scored three of them, and is the NHL's all-time leader for 3-on-5 goals.

Cooke's goal, which resulted in Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov being removed from the game for Sergei Bobrovsky, came just minutes after Staal scored a shorthanded goal of his own to tie the game at two. Staal was involved in another big player earlier in the game when he hit Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn from behind into the boards, resulting in a two-minute minor for boarding. It could have (and probably should have) been more.

It's a play that resulted in a $2,500 fine from the NHL. He has a clean resume in the NHL and doesn't have a reputation as being a dirty player, which probably worked in his favor. Staal was penalized on the play, but the Flyers didn't get a power play as Kimmo Timonen was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It was simply that kind of day, and not one of the better officiated games you will see in the NHL this season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 2:59 pm
 

It's a trap: Tampa Bay's system under attack

Boucher1

By: Adam Gretz

The highest scoring team in the NHL (the Philadelphia Flyers) played a Tampa Bay Lightning team on Wednesday night that featured the most prolific goal-scorer in the league over the past two seasons (Steven Stamkos) and a former MVP (Martin St. Louis). That should result in an exciting game with a lot of goals, scoring chances and back-and-forth play, right? Wrong.

The highlight (or lowlight) of the night, as well as the biggest talking point in the NHL on Thursday morning, is how the game, which Tampa Bay won in overtime, 2-1, had all the excitement of paint drying due to the Lightning's commitment to its 1-3-1 system, and the Flyers' unwillingness to attack it.

If you haven't already seen it, multiple times throughout the game, especially during the first period, the Flyers' defensemen, including Chris Pronger and Braydon Coburn, refused to skate the puck out of their own zone and waited for the Lightning's forecheckers to make the first move.

When that didn't happen, the result was a stalemate unlike any other

And this was a game that was played on national television. That can not be what the NHL wants, and most of the negative reaction has been directed at the Lightning and coach Guy Boucher for playing such a style of hockey.

Versus analyst Mike Milbury, for example, left the set during the second intermission of Wednesday's game in "protest" (though, his night was probably over at that point anyway), while the discussion of whether or not the NHL needs to implement some form of "shot clock" to prevent a team from not advancing the puck the way Philadelphia did has been kicked off.


Depending on your rooting interest you probably have a different idea as to who the winners and losers were in this game. If you're a Lightning fan you're probably happy (and rightfully so) because your team won the game. Flyers fans -- and the Flyers themselves -- seem to be taking great pride in the fact that they embarrassed the Lightning by essentially calling out their style of play and shining some light on how boring the neutral zone trap is (though, we didn't need the Flyers to prove that to us -- we knew that based on watching hockey between 1995 and 2005).

Take, for example, the words of Pronger, via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly:
“Would you pay money to see that? I wouldn’t either and that was a [VERSUS] TV game, too. Way to showcase the product. Look at the players they got over there.
 
“That’s not my job. Maybe Shanny [Brendan Shanahan] should take charge of that, too. I don’t know.
 
“That is the way they play there all the time, whether it’s us or anybody. If they get down, they go into a two-man forecheck. We were just waiting for them to come in. Force them out of their forecheck or whatever that was. They weren’t forchecking. Their stance, I guess.
 
“That was their game right there. We were making them look bad. That’s not hockey in my book, but whatever. The league is letting them do it.”
Of course the league is "letting them do it," because there's nothing in the rule book that says a team can't play a certain type of defensive system. And as far as the "making them look bad" is concerned, it should again be pointed out that Tampa Bay did, in fact, win the hockey game, which is still the ultimate goal.

Tampa Bay doesn't pride itself on winning games in style, because if it did, it wouldn't be playing the 1-3-1 to begin with. So it's doubtful the Lightning are going to apologize for the boring manner in which they win games. And they aren't.

"We're sticking to the game plan," said Boucher, via the St. Pete Times. "When we have the puck we're aggressive with it, and when we don't have the puck we dedicate ourselves to being above the puck instead of chasing from behind. It tells me guys are buying in."

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff chimed in on Thursday and according to John Vogl condoned Tampa Bay's style of play, but did add that there has to be an obligation to try and get the puck if the other team has it.

There also has to be an obligation for the team with the puck to move it.

As a hockey fan, of course I would prefer to see a more offensive game that highlights the skill of the players on the ice, so I can't say that I love the way Tampa Bay plays. I certainly respect it, and I respect the way players have obviously bought into Boucher's system, but it is boring. But I also don't want to see anything that would limit their ability to play that style of hockey or restrict a players' on-ice movements, such as the type of "illegal defense" rules the NBA has attempted over the years, mainly because I'm not sure how you enforce it, and also because the referees have enough to worry about without trying to identify what system a team is playing.

I don't blame the Lightning for what took place Wednesday night, and focussing on Tampa Bay seems to overlook the fact that just about every team in the NHL plays some variation of the trap -- it's just that the Lightning's is different from all the others. Still, when the Flyers have the puck the onus is on them to advance it, play the game, and figure out a way to exit their own zone, navigate through the neutral zone and enter the offensive zone. They chose not to do that.

And let's not act like the Lightning and their system, no matter how committed they are to it, are impossible to score against. Last season they allowed 155 goals during 5-on-5 play (when they would have been playing their system). Only 12 teams in the NHL allowed more. So far this season they've allowed 33 goals during 5-on-5 play, which is the fourth most in the NHL (only Ottawa, Carolina and Philadelphia have allowed more).

You can score against them. The only way you're guaranteed to not score against them is if you make no effort.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:01 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Flyers extend Braydon Coburn for four years, $18M

By Brian Stubits

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed another one of their young players to an extension, reportedly agreeing with Braydon Coburn to a new four-year deal worth $18 million. This according to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia.

So if those figures are facts, that would be $4.5 million annually to Coburn, a solid young defenseman. He logs a lot of minutes and really has potential to be a shutdown defenseman for many years.

Offensively speaking, he does not produce much in the way of points at all. Now in his seventh season in the league, the 26-year-old has 26 career goals. This season his only points to speak of are three assists.

It sort of makes you recoil at first, doesn't it? It seems to be along the lines of GM Paul Holmgren's contract with James van Riemsdyk he signed a short while ago, giving the up-and-comer a six-year contract for $25.5 million. It seemed -- and still does -- like an awfully generous contract from Holmgren to his player. Compared to similar players in age like Logan Couture, whose most recent deal pays him $2.875 million per season.

But considering that Coburn was making $3.2 million annually on his existing deal and was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, you see perhaps where Holmgren was coming from. Obviously he had to up the ante a touch if he wanted to lock Coburn in and take away the player's ability to test the open market.

Then you realize when you start to play the contemporary game with Coburn that a guy like Keith Ballard is making $4.2 million with the Canucks and Mike Komisarek $4.5 million with the Maple Leafs. It makes the matter just that much easier to digest.

Really, the rate for shutdown defensemen is going up by the year. Of course, you could probably say that about every position except the enforcer, but the point stands. Guys who are strong in their own end are valued players, Coburn would have likely received a contract similar to this in salary as a free agent.

Of course it means that Philly will again be working under a cap crunch this offseason, especially if the cap comes down in the next CBA.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:35 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 12:04 am
 

Jagr scores again in Flyers win

JagrBy: Adam Gretz

Jaromir Jagr hasn't appeared in a regular season NHL game in three years, and based on the way he's played so far in the preseason it's almost as if he never left.

He scored the game-winning goal in Philadelphia's 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night when he finished a perfect pass from Claude Giroux (the player Jagr referred to as a "mini-Mario" -- as in Mario Lemieux -- earlier this week) as the 39-year-old forward was left wide open just to the left of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

(Video by clicking here: And look how open Jagr is ... it's almost as if everybody on the ice forgot about him.)

For Jagr, it's his fourth goal of the preseason, and they've all come over the past three games while he's also recorded a pair of assists. Along with his goal on Thursday, Jagr had another outstanding scoring chance late in the first period during a two-on-one rush with Braydon Coburn only to have Brodeur make a fantastic stop while sliding across the crease to his left to get his pad on the puck after Jagr snapped off a quick one-timer.

We've talked quite a bit this offseason about how much offense the Flyers have to replace after losing Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino, and Jagr is going to have to be one of the focal points of the new-look Flyers. So far, in games that don't count, he looks like he's still capable of being a top offensive player. How he's able to hold up over the course of an 82-game regular season (and the playoffs) will be a big factor in how much success the Flyers have (or don't have).

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com