When looking at the Flyers roster, there are some players that you know are the stars. There are some players that make you frustrated when you see them out there on the ice…or even on the roster. But there are also some players that you rarely notice. Patrick Brown is one of those guys. But his value to this team is a lot more than what you think. And to praise a fourth line player like that, that’s saying a lot.
Brown is not a scorer. The 30 year old center has one goal and three assists so far this year. Last year, he set career highs with the Flyers, scoring four goals and notching five assists. So, that’s not his specialty. That’s ok. Leave the scoring to the other guys. Brown’s value lies in other places.
A big part of that is just simple hockey fundamentals. This is the stuff that Coach John Tortorella is trying to build a team around. It’s about battling for the puck, not creating turnovers, and coming to play every single day as hard as you can every single day. He is a great example for what this team is trying to become.
He is second on the team with a faceoff percentage of 53.6 (Owen Tippett is higher at 68.2%, but he has only been in 22 faceoffs). He is sixth on the team with 92 hits; his line mates Nicolas Deslauriers and Zack MacEwen lead the team with 202 and 130 respectively.
With him at center, the Flyers fourth line has been quite formidable. As you can tell with the hit tallies, they are not afraid to throw their weight around. Brown, however, leaves the fisticuffs to Deslauriers and MacEwen. He’s only been in two fights since playing in Philadelphia. One was last season against Luke Kunin. The other was recently against Brandon Duhaime.
He does a lot of the little things right. Because of that, the Flyers’ fourth line is very effective. They shut down opposing lines. They intimidate other scorers. At the same time, they don’t take costly and boneheaded penalties.
He can also bring a steady, veteran presence to a young team. He can be a guy that the younger players can emulate. He may not be on the stat sheet every night, but his presence is felt. Good teams are filled, not just with superstars, but with good depth players who fill a role. For that reason, Brown has a lot of value for this team.