Flyers Defense Helping to Turn Things Around
VOORHEES— Braydon Coburn was one of the last players to come off the ice after Monday’s practice.
He sat at his stall with a smile on his face and it wasn’t (entirely) because his Saskatchewan Roughriders are headed to the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The longest-tenured Flyer is happy with the job his fellow defense corps has done this season. The fact that the Flyers allow 2.47 goals per game isn’t only because of the stellar jobs Steve Mason and Ray Emery have done between the pipes.
“When we manage the puck and we effectively do things right on the forecheck and through the neutral zone and break out of our zone, it alleviates a lot of pressure of playing big minutes in our own end,” Coburn said.
When the Flyers shut out the New Jersey Devils in Newark on Nov. 2, they accomplished a feat for the first time since Dec. 12, 2009: no giveaways. The Flyers have had 38 in the six games that followed. They’ve made a conscious effort to play smarter with and without the puck, and it’s part of why they’ve gotten points in six of their last seven games.
“It’s about reloading and backchecking and pressuring the puck,” coach Craig Berube said. “That’s the biggest part of it: playing without the puck. It involves a lot of skating and work.”