It has been 10 years since the Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks by virtue of Patrick Kane’s Game 6 overtime winner. (I’m still not sure anyone but Kane actually saw it go in the net.) Many players from that team have retired; however, a few still remain. One of them, defenseman Braydon Coburn, is now in his second Stanley Cup Final since that 2010 run, both with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Any time you can be fighting for the ultimate prize, it’s a good feeling," Coburn said Thursday in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia.
This season is much different for Coburn — not only the obvious bubble scenario in Edmonton, Alberta, because of COVID-19, but also for Coburn as a player.
“[In 2010] and , I was playing a bunch," Coburn said. "I’ve been in a way different role for this run. I haven’t played in [the Final] so far. For me, it’s been mostly about supporting the guys. Passing on any wisdom, just keeping myself ready. Making sure physically and mentally when I get my chance, if I get my chance, I’m ready to go.”
Coburn has played 14-plus seasons in the NHL now, parts of nine of those with the Flyers. The 35-year-old defenseman has plenty of experience to share with some of the young players on the Lightning.
“A lot of the guys who haven’t been through it, you kind of give them any advice," Coburn said. "Different things that can happen, encouragement for the most part. You see guys all the time when the playoffs roll around, for me, I see boys becoming men.”
In terms of similarities between the 2009-10 Flyers and Coburn’s current team in Tampa, Coburn played with Chris Pronger here in Philadelphia. This season, the Lightning’s defensive core is led by Victor Hedman, who is arguably the front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player in the playoffs. While Hedman is like Pronger in stature, for Coburn, that’s where the similarities end.
“I think they’re both very tall players," he said. "Prongs was super important to us and obviously Heddy is very important to our club right now. The way they play, and personalities, are very different.”
They say the third time is a charm, and for Coburn, he hopes this is the year he gets his name etched on the Stanley Cup.