For such a small in stature player, Kimmo plays big and makes the most of what he has.......Just one of them solid players its hard to find fault with.....I would be really happy for him more than just about anyone else if Philly can win a cup before he retires or leaves Philly...Same goes for Scotty Hartnell !
He's been pretty close to great for like 10 years now. He's been averaging 45 points for 10 years running, while steadily improving defense which was above average to begin with. I actually remember when I realized how great he had became defensively.
It was the playoffs 07-08, we went to the conference finals with what I both then and now view as a pretty mediocre team. First round, Washington Capitals, hyped up and Ovechkin coming from an Art Ross Maurice Richard 65 goals domination of a season.
Sure, Ovechkin scored goals and points in that series. He showed that he was the dominant player around on the PP. But in even strength, he made jack cheese. Timonen got matched up against Ovie in every possible shift. Ovechkin couldn't create anything.You could seriously feel his frustration across the atlantic, that's how brick of a wall he hit every time Kimmo was on the ice. He came nowhere. I mean it takes a GREAT player to take down the best player in the sport, one of the all time greats at his peak.
So we eventually eliminated Washington, who at the time were the far superior team.
Next matchup, Montreal. Alexei Kovalev on his by far career year. He did everything that season. Sure, he has a better year counted in points, but that was playing with Jagr who were ridiculously dominating the east and even the NHL at that point. 4 consecutive Art Ross. He got 95 points out of Martin Straka that same year.
However, Kovalev, hyped up, coming from a great first round. The absolute peak of his career, and he had a pretty high ceiling. And Timonen neutralized him even worse than Ovechkin. Kovalev came absolutely nowhere. Series long, nothing. Oh yeah he showed some flashes on the PP, like Ovechkin, but only because you can't take one guy down as a defender on the PK.
In every game, in two consecutive series, Kimmo put down two of the best players that skated the surface that year. Nothing were seen or heard from neither of them as long as Kimmo was on the ice against them in even strength.
And then he got hurt. Cue our team absolutely collapsing, especially our D. We were actually getting royally F'd in the A. Since then it isn't deniable that he's great anymore. Especially since he's even better these days, like the stanley cup finals run couple of years ago. But that one playoff, with what might've been the 10th best team in the East, he more or less single-handedly sent us to the conference finals.