Coach Peter Laviolette put Dan Carcillo into the lineup in Game 2 in an effort to give his team an infusion of energy and physicality early in the game. After Carcillo spent the first period going absolutely crazy on the ice, including one heck of a hit on his own teammate, he was limited in the second half of the game and rarely saw the ice in the third period.
In Game 3, it was much the same as Carcillo again asserted himself early in the game. During one crazed shift he made several big hits along the boards before being called for a charging call, one that seemed obvious to most but Laviolette felt was a “good, clean hockey play.”
Still, Carcillo was planted on the bench in the third period and overtime and never saw the ice when the game was on the line.
The deeper into the Cup finals and the deeper into games these teams get, the coaches will certainly be shortening the benches in an effort to keep their best players on the ice. Still, after such a grueling postseason it would be nice for the Flyers if they did not have to rely so much on their top two lines. After all, the depth of this team is what got them this far.
Laviolette refused to say whether the speculation was justified, but it certainly seems as if there’s a good chance that James van Riemsdyk is back in the lineup tonight. Granted, that doesn’t necessarily mean Carcillo is coming out. Both skated hard this morning, although Carcillo was out on the ice much longer than JVR. Speculate if you will, but signs point to Carcillo not being out on the ice tonight for Game 4.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.