2013 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Brian Flynn
The Buffalo Sabres 2013 season began with high expectations, and ended with nothing but empty Twitter fights atop a smoldering pile of ashes. Now that we've had some time to reflect, we're here to grade every player who wore the blue and gold this season, from Adam to Weber.
#65 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres
Jul 26, 1988
2012 - Brian Flynn
Contract: $1.025 million last year, RFA this summer
Report Card Grade in 2012: N/A
Introduction: Brian Flynn's NHL debut on March 2 was accompanied by one big question - "Who the heck is Brian Flynn?" Not that Sabres fans have had a chance to watch him play in 26 NHL games, we know that Brian Flynn is a hard-working, tenacious winger who falls somewhere between grinder and contributor. Basically, he's a textbook bottom six player with still a bit more untapped upside.
Flynn was also a rookie in the AHL this year, having played only 5 games for Rochester last year coming out of the University of Maine. Did he do enough to stick around next season? Let's dive in and find out.
Key Stat: Flynn's shot percentage this year was 12.2, which was good for fifth on the Sabres and 12th among rookies who played more than 20 NHL games. I don't think it's a fluke (a la Marcus Foligno last season) seeing as how he was clicking at over 16% in Rochester. The kid has a certain nose for the net, and a good sense of positioning around the net to get the puck on his stick in the scoring areas.
The Sabres will be needing all the offense they can muster next season, and Flynn's continued production will be a part of that plan.
Thumbs Up: Finished 11th on the Sabres in points despite only playing in 26 games, and was tied for the team lead in +/- with Christian Ehrhoff and Jochen Hecht. Not afraid to block shots, accumulating 20, and had three times as many takeaways as giveaways. He was also one of a few Sabres players to earn zero penalty minutes all season. Kid plays a clean game. He's also an oddly steady producer - Flynn's numbers are almost identical in both home and away game,s and in both wins and losses.
Flynn was one of the few Sabres with a double digit positive number in Relative Corsi (On-ice shot differential versus off-ice shot differential per 60) with an even 10.0, showing that he was able to maintain possession and generate offense relative to his opponents better than almost anyone on the team. Possession and shot generation go hand in hand, and this is an area that the Sabres struggled mightily in this season.
Thumbs Down: Flynn's good Corsi numbers came against middling competition, as would be expected from a young, inexperienced player, so read in to that what you will. He doesn't hit very much, only registering ten all season, and had a poor 40% faceoff win rate in 60 tries. As far as rookies go, he's on the older side at age 24, so it's yet to be determined how much upside he's got left.
Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with a A representing a great season, C an average season, and F a very poor season, grade Brian Flynn on his performance this year according to the expectations you had for him.
What grade would you give Brian Flynn for his 2012-13 season?