Kimmo Timonen was embarrassed and angry. Embarrassed at himself. Angry at coach Craig Berube. For the first time in his Flyers career he’s been demoted from the top power-play unit to the leading D-man on the second unit as the Flyers prepare to face the Rangers on Thursday (see story). Timonen is a player whose 29 points last season were seventh-best among NHL defensemen and his 17 power-play points were third-best among a group of guys like P.K. Subban Andrei Markov and Shea Weber. This year? Timonen has yet to register a point while racking up 10 penalty minutes and a team-leading nine giveaways through eight games. “Obviously I have played power play for 15 years now so it is a big deal” Timonen said. “But I am an old-school type of guy and I always feel you have to earn your spot on a power play or penalty killing. “And when you get taken out of a power play I take that as 'You have to be better.'” The second unit gets 30 to 40 seconds at best in power play time and under Berube lately it hasn’t gotten much -- if any -- ice time. “Everybody wants to play power play” Timonen said. “That's the way to get into the game and that's where you get your confidence back. There are a lot of things to do but obviously we haven't been scoring and we are trying to find a way to add some scoring. “And I am fine with it. But when it comes to me going to the second unit that is just a message to me that I have to be better.” Berube who tried to soft-peddle Timonen’s demotion on Tuesday by saying he wanted to cut his minutes down (he averages 20:37) was more blunt on Wednesday. “I think just from a competitive level he knows he can play better” Berube said. “There’s a lot of guys that know they can play better. It’s not just him. “Everybody can play better. As a team I’m not here to single anybody out. As a team standpoint we all can play better.” Timonen has not played well this season and it shows in his skating. He is coming off an unspecified lower-body injury after playing just 13 minutes during the loss to the Penguins last week. Although he is not 100 percent healthy he said he’s “good enough to play better.” “I am one of the leaders on the team" Timonen said. "So you have to take that as 'Be better. Bring better stuff on the ice' and that kind of stuff.
Will demotion light a fire under Timonen?
CSN Philly | Oct 24