Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official DeskSite of the Philadelphia Flyers Flyer Wire Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Flyers' 4 Beating Devils' 6

Tuesday, 04.20.2010 / 7:26 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Flyers\' 4 Beating Devils\' 6
(Philadelphia, PA) - It's no coincidence the top six New Jersey Devils forwards have struggled to find a groove against the big four defensemen of the Philadelphia Flyers.

And, really, it all boils down to the fact the top two defensive pair for the Flyers have been better.

The Devils will look to change all that Tuesday in Game 4 against the Flyers at the Wachovia Center (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN). The Flyers lead the series, 2-1.

"Having two solid pair of 'D' gives us the match against what I consider two first lines (in New Jersey)," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We try and get those guys out there to do their best; to try and play against them and match up when we can. Timmo (Kimmo Timonen) quietly goes about his business in an effective manner, Chris Pronger should be a Norris Trophy candidate in my opinion, Matty (Carle) has done a terrific job in using his positioning and Braydon Coburn has been on the top of his game in the playoffs."
Philadelphia Flyers' Kimmo Timonen, left, of Finland, checks New Jersey Devils' Dainius Zubrus, of Lithuania, to the ice during the first period of an NHL first-round playoff hockey game Wednesday, April 14, 2010, in Newark, N.J. Timonen received a two-minute penalty on the play. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

"They're playing good," Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said. "(Pronger and Timonen) are two really good hockey players who play a lot of minutes and they defend well. They're good on the offense, good overall and that's why they're among the top defensemen in the League."

While there is a considerable size discrepancy between Pronger (6-foot-6, 220) and Timonen (5-10, 194), Laviolette finds it hard to distinguish between their rock-solid play in the back end.

"I actually don't think they're that different of players," he said. "They both defend the same way. They're very smart and are always in position. They're sticks are in the right position and they make the correct reads. They're similar a bit in the way they play the game."

Through three playoff games against the Devils, the defensive pairs of Pronger and Carle and Timonen and Coburn have been earning their keep while averaging 30-or-more shifts a game. All four players rank among the top five on the team in ice time, with Pronger (29:30), Timonen (25:35) and Carle (25:11) among the top three and Coburn (21:06) coming in fifth.

Pronger and Timonen rank first and second on the team in average ice time while shorthanded and on the power-play. There really isn't any situation Laviolette won't think twice about putting them out against either of the top two lines for the Devils, which consists of some combination featuring Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac, Jamie Langenbrunner and Dainius Zubrus.

The acquisition of Pronger has also relieved some of the heavy defensive burden on Timonen.

"Obviously we know Chris is a great player and probably a future Hall of Famer, so, sure, it's a different situation," Timonen said. "But I just go out there and do my job. I really don't care who plays what. I work on my thing and make sure I do my job as good as I can."

Timonen considers the challenge of stopping Kovalchuk similar to that of denying Washington's Alex Ovechkin. When the Flyers eliminated the Capitals in seven games during the 2008 Conference quarterfinal round, "Ovi" was held to 4 goals at a time when Timonen was called upon time and time again. Kovalchuk has 1 goal this series and was even held to zero shots in the Flyers' Game 3 overtime victory.

"It's the same kind of player (Ovechkin and Kovalchuk)," Timonen said. "They're both great players. They can shoot the puck and make plays and if you give them space and time, they're going to make plays so the key is to take that away."

Still, it's interesting to note that Timonen still averages more ice time now than he did during the '08 Playoffs when he didn't have Pronger as a teammate, logging 24:40 in 13 games.

The play of the Flyers' defense seems to have the Devils second-guessing themselves on offense, which is a direct result of what Timonen was referring to when he noted his keys of taking away time and space.

"They do a good job of taking away our time and space with the puck and I just think we all need to support and use our linemates more -- that'll make a big difference," Parise said.

The Flyers have allowed the Devils 16 power-play opportunities in the series and the Devils have only connected three times, including a 2-for-8 showing in Game 3.

"I think everybody is trying to make things happen in different ways and to say we're doing it individually would ... I don't think (playing as individuals) is something we set out to do," Langenbrunner said. "We want to make something good happen and do something to help the team. Sometimes less is more."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 52 16 29 -8 45
J. Voracek 52 8 34 -3 42
W. Simmonds 52 19 16 -7 35
B. Schenn 50 14 15 -2 29
S. Gostisbehere 34 9 19 3 28
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 50 4 9 -10 13
M. Raffl 52 6 6 2 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 14 7 .915 2.70
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.