Saturday, November 08, 2014

Coburn returns for Flyers; Colaiacovo sits

The second-longest single absence in defenseman Braydon Coburn's career will come to an end tonight, as he is expected to be in the lineup for the Flyers' home contest against the Colorado Avalanche.

Coburn, who has proven himself to be a durable presence on the blueline since arriving here from Atlanta in February of 2007, has missed the last 12 games after blocking a shot off his foot in a 2-1 loss to Boston in the season opener back on October 8.

For his long-awaited return, new acquisition Carlo Colaiacovo will sit out after playing the last two games and making a positive impression in a limited scope. He picked up one assists and was a plus player in both contests, averaging 16:53 of ice time.

Coburn had missed the final 15 games of the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign after suffering a separated left shoulder in a game against the New York Islanders. He has participated in at least 78 games in every full NHL season as a Flyer.

Heading into the game, the Orange and Black have posted a 5-4-2 home record against the Avalanche since the franchise relocated to Denver in 1995. That includes three straight wins since dropping a 4-3 OT decision on January 14, 2006.

Avs head coach Patrick Roy was absolutely flummoxed against Philly for most of his Hall-of-Fame career with Montreal and Colorado (1985-2003). If not for some wins at the end of his NHL tenure, his record would look a lot worse than it is: 7-10-9 in 28 appearances with a 3.46 goals-against average and no shutouts.

Tonight, Roy gets his first crack at Broad Street as a coach. Perhaps in a nod to his former head coaches Jacques Demers, Mario Tremblay, Marc Crawford and Bob Hartley, Roy will not have usual starter Semyon Varlamov between the pipes, but backup Reto Berra.

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