Defensemen key Flyers' win 

May, 25, 2010

PHILADELPHIA -- With a chance to close out the Cinderella Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette wasn't kidding around. He knew that Monday was a night to let his four horses run. His four defensive horses, that is. And he rode them all the way to a series-clinching victory and an Eastern Conference crown.

In Game 5, Laviolette's biggest horse was defenseman Braydon Coburn, who worked a game-high 30 minutes, 11 seconds -- including a whopping 10:29 in the first period and an even 10 minutes in the final period. Coburn didn't pile up any other eye-popping stats; he just played tough, hard, ultrasteady hockey. I think they call that winning hockey.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.