Who has been the most effective Flyers defenseman in the offensive zone the past two games? If you guessed Coburn, you've won a case of Tastykakes. Ignoring freak occurrences like MacDonald and Luke Schenn scoring, Coburn has been consistently more active in the offensive zone than I've ever seen him.
The team as a whole was not particularly effective in game 1, so the possession numbers for most of the defenseman are piss poor. Using the always effective eye test, I noticed Coburn was getting in deeper into the zone than he has normally throughout his whole career.
Game 2 I thought he was the best defenseman on the ice for the Flyers aside from the one turnover directly in front of the net. He carried the puck in, made good passes, and was extremely effective on the penalty kill. He had positive possession numbers and made some big plays.
During 4 on 4 or shorthanded plays I've always noticed Coburn is more likely to move up and carry the puck in deep or join the rush. My biggest question was why is he so hesitant to do this during 5 on 5 play? The answer I've came up with is that Timonen is relied on to provide the offense in this pairing so he's tasked with playing conservatively. This series Timonen has been limited physically somehow, and that's called for Coburn to make more plays and I think that it's a smart move.
I think this is a trend that will continue next season. It seems to me that the Flyers have planned to move on without Timonen, signing MacDonald to that expensive contract. Coburn is a big body who can skate, so I think more of him in the offensive zone will be good for both his stats and the Flyers.