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.

To see the factors that E.J. Hradek pegged as key to the game and the series, you must be an ESPN Insider.

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.