2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2: Is Carcillo's return good for Flyers?

28 Comments
Carcillo5.jpgChicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2

Blackhawks
lead series 1-0

Live on NBC, 8 p.m. EDT

Join us for a live chat for tonight’s game @ 7:45
p.m.

The Flyers lost Game 1 by just one goal, and were able to walk away
knowing that at least they have the ability to keep up with the Chicago
Blackhawks. Still, there’s no doubting that the Flyers were nowhere near
as good as they could have been and never came close to using the
attitude, physicality and perseverance they have become known for in the
postseason.

In an effort to get back to what had worked so well
before, the Flyers will be playing Dan Carcillo for the first time since
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Flyers lacked energy and
an overall aggression, something that Carcillo will certainly work to
provide in an extremely important Game 2.

If there is one player
on the Flyers that can instantly change the direction a game will take,
it’s Dan Carcillo. The small yet fiery player has the ability to be the
emotional spark the Flyers need, especially after spending the last
month of the season and the first two series of the playoffs becoming
something of a cult hero among the Flyer faithful.

Carcillo was
benched against the Montreal Canadiens to make room on the roster for
Jeff Carter, something that Carcillo understands as a move that was
needed for the team.

“Peter pretty much told me exactly why [I was
going out], and it’s a no
brainer – Carter comes back, he’s a 40-goal scorer, it’s pretty easy for
you guys to figure out, too.”

Yet it wasn’t easy for Carcillo to
just sit back and watch his team play without him. He’s an emotional
player, a guy who loves nothing more than to get out on the ice and stir
the pot. Yet he was relegated to watching the games from the box, not
being able to be there for his teammates.

“It’s probably the
hardest thing I’ve had to do in my career,” Carcillo said. “I’m a guy
who kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve and you always want to see
the team do well, and you’re still a part of the team, but it was a
tough pill to swallow.”

One thing the Flyers did excel at in Game 1
was playing a disciplined, in control game that never allowed the
Chicago Blackhawks offense to get rolling with the man advantage. With
Carcillo back in the lineup, there’s bound to be some penalties doled
out as he does all he can to shake things up with big hits and some
incredibly antagonistic approaches along the boards. Still, Carcillo
isn’t expecting to be so out of control that he’ll hurt his team.

“I’m
just going to play my game,” he said. “Running around, being
physical and not taking any penalties to put the team down. And staying
out of the stuff after the whistle.”

So is Carcillo’s return
something the Flyers need? He’ll be replacing rookie James van Riemsdyk,
so it’s not likely that the Flyers will be missing any big offense.
Carcillo also isn’t likely to see anything over ten minutes of ice time,
and will be used primarily as a means to give his team the mental and
physical edge they lacked in Game 1.

All in all, if Carcillo is
able to keep from doing anything dumb you have to see this as nothing
but a positive for the Flyers. They’re getting a player back in the
lineup that everyone on the team is happy to see back on the ice,
someone capable of providing emotional and physical support while having
the ability of scoring some timely goals as well.

As far as dumb
plays go, we could see some fireworks between Carcillo and the resident
agitator on the Blackhawks Adam Burish. Burish stated that he has no
prior history with Carcillo, although he added “maybe after tonight we
will.”

Carcillo might not be too thrilled with Burish after his
hit on David Krajicek in Game 1. It was a dangerous hit from behind,
although Carcillo isn’t expecting anything to happen with Burish.

“He’s a college guy. He’s not going to fight,” he
told Darren Dreger of TSN.

I’d say with
Carcillo, the Flyers are getting exactly what they’ll need: attitude.

NBC and NBCSN have you covered for Hockey Day in America

Leave a comment

With two games on NBC and then two more on NBCSN, your Sunday should be jam-packed with Hockey Day in America action. A look at the hockey hotbed of Warroad, Minnesota adds a delectable cherry on top, too.

If you need a guide to this party of pucks and patriotism, look no further than this post.

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC

John Carlson, T.J. Oshie and the dominant Capitals take on Ryan McDonagh and the Blueshirts. The Metropolitan Division represents some of the NHL’s upper crust, so don’t be fooled by the Rangers being the first wild card while the Caps are tops in the East; both of these teams can go. Kenny Albert and Brian Boucher will be there to call the action.

MORE: For Oshie, ties to Warroad run deep

Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins, 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Mike “Doc” Emrick and Eddie Olczyk will be in the booth for this battle between teams that met in back-to-back Stanley Cup Final series in 2008 and 2009. Along with usual suspects like Sidney Crosby and Henrik Zetterberg, these teams feature American scorers such as Dylan Larkin and, of course, Phil Kessel.

Chicago Blackhawks at Buffalo Sabres, 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The action shifts to NBCSN as Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks hope to teach Jack Eichel and the upstart Sabres a lesson or two. The Blackhawks are in playoff position, as usual, while Buffalo is rallying to try to make a push of its own. Gord Miller and Joe Micheletti will be your guides.

MORE: Islanders forward Brock Nelson’s journey from Warroad to the NHL

Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks, 8:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Hockey Day in America’s coverage closes off with this matchup between David Backes‘ Bruins and Joe Pavelski‘s Sharks. Randy Hahn, Andy Brickley and Bret Hedican will take you through this match between the Pacific Division’s top team and a Bruins team fighting to stick in the East playoff picture.

Barkov’s beautiful goal pushes Panthers into playoff position

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 26: Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers circles the net with the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the BB&T Center on November 26, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1 in a shoot out. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Getty
1 Comment

The Florida Panthers just won’t be denied as they end the night in the East’s top eight.

It’s fitting, then, that Aleksander Barkov wouldn’t be denied on his game-winner against Los Angeles on Saturday.

Barkov bursts beyond multiple Kings, fights off what would have been an obstruction penalty and then beats Peter Budaj by the narrowest of margins to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead 15 seconds into the third period. They would never relinquish that edge to Los Angeles, winning their fourth game in a row.

In the process, the Panthers – a team that seemed to be fledgling when it fired Gerard Gallant – now find themselves in the East’s top eight. Heck, they’re actually above the wild card fray by a hair.

Before we get to that … just bask in the glow of this Barkov goal:

Again, it was such a small window to beat Budaj, too:

(If the Panthers’ place in the standings doesn’t sway you into taking them seriously, maybe note plays like that and the fact that Barkov has 20 points in his last 17 games.)

OK, so with this win, the Panthers did some serious leapfrogging. They now rank third in the Atlantic Division (thanks to a game in hand on Boston) and have more points than Toronto as far as wild card concerns go, anyway.

Atlantic Division rankings

1. Canadiens – 70 points in 59 games
2. Senators – 68 points in 56 games
3. Panthers – 64 points in 57 games

Bruins – 64 in 58
Maple Leafs – 63 in 47
Sabres – 62 in 59
Lightning – 58 in 57
Red Wings – 56 in 58

From a wild card perspective

Third in Atlantic – Panthers – 64 points in 57 games
Second wild card – Bruins – 64 in 58

Maple Leafs – 63 in 47
Islanders – 62 in 57
Sabres – 62 in 59
Flyers – 61 in 58
Devils – 60 in 58
Lightning – 58 in 57
Hurricanes – 56 in 54
Red Wings – 56 in 58

Everything’s so close that the Panthers can’t pop champagne bottles, but they’re also very much in control over their hopes. While it never hurts to see your competitors stumble, the Panthers can take care of business. They “control their own destiny,” to use silly sports parlance.

And considering how they’ve been playing lately, they might be as tough to handle in the playoffs as Barkov was to stop on that outstanding 3-2 goal.

Stars made Dave Strader’s return to the booth special

starssalutestrader
via Dallas Stars
1 Comment

It was a special night as the Dallas Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime, but the most memorable moment wasn’t the win or Antoine Roussel‘s hat trick.

Instead, it was how the team embraced Dave Strader’s return to the broadcasting booth as he continues to fight cancer.

Don’t be ashamed if his comments to the Dallas Morning News leave you emotional:

“This is the first time, to be honest with you, that for four hours I didn’t feel like I was sick at all,” Strader said after the game. “Maybe it was the adrenaline high, but I really, really feel great right now.”

Again, the team really did some great things to welcome him back, but the highlight was saluting him after the game. Incredible stuff.

“What a gesture by the boys … meant so much to me and my wife! Thank you.” Strader tweeted after the game.

As this post notes, Strader is expected to do play-by-play for four more Stars games.

Add allowing center-ice goal to Brian Elliott’s rough season

Leave a comment

So far, there’s just one goal in tonight’s Calgary Flames – Vancouver Canucks game. And it wasn’t a good one.

The Canucks couldn’t manage a shot on goal for more than half of the first period, maybe putting Brian Elliott to sleep … as Alexander Edler scored the 1-0 goal from center ice on Vancouver’s first shot that actually got on net. Ouch.

It’s already been a tough season for Brian Elliott, who came into Saturday with an .898 save percentage.

Elliott was perfect through the rest of the first two periods, so we’ll see if Calgary can overcome that gaffe.

Update: The Canucks ended up winning 2-1 in overtime. Ryan Miller was the better of the two goalies in this one.