Tag: Derek Stepan

Matt Carle

Bolts rule Carle (undisclosed) out for Game 4


Tampa Bay d-man Matt Carle will miss his first game of the postseason tonight when the Bolts host the Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena.

Carle, shook up following a collision with Derek Stepan during Game 3 — a hit that forced Carle from the game — was officially ruled out this morning by head coach Jon Cooper, who wouldn’t reveal what he’d do in terms of a lineup replacement.

From today’s media availability:

Q. So maybe get a guy like [Mark] Barberio in there?

COACH COOPER: Maybe. Our full 21 guys are playing, so you have to show up tonight to see which guy is out. But he’s one of the guys I told might be in.

Q. Either way, if you do go 7 [defensemen], you have a guy that hasn’t played for a while in the lineup. What kind of things go into that?

COACH COOPER: This is where you find out if guys are pros or not. It’s a game we all love to play, but it’s also in some respects, it’s your job. These guys are expected to, when your name is called, to come in and do the best you can and keep yourself in shape. Our guys and our staff have done a great job with players that haven’t been in the starting line-up, but potentially could come in. You look at everybody from, you know, if it is Barberio to [Jonathan] Drouin, [Vladislav] Namestnikov, [Jonathan] Marchessault, go down the list.

Carle, 30, was averaging 16:35 TOI per night prior to getting hurt, with two points and a minus-6 rating.

Bolts say no update on Carle (undisclosed) after Stepan collision

New Yoprk Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three

To nobody’s surprise, the Lightning weren’t offering much in the way of a status report for defenseman Matt Carle, who was knocked out of Wednesday’s OT win over the Rangers following a collision with Derek Stepan.

“No update,” head coach Jon Cooper said on Thursday. “What’s the line? Day to day, but then again, aren’t we all?”

Here’s a replay of the injury:

Carle, 30, had appeared in all 16 of Tampa Bay’s playoff games prior to getting hurt, and was averaging 16:35 TOI per night. The Bolts are relatively well equipped to deal with his loss, should Carle be out any length of time; Cooper dressed seven d-men on Wednesday — as he has on numerous occasions this postseason — and has Mark Barberio waiting in reserve if need be.

Carle’s night is over after collision with Stepan

New Yoprk Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three
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The New York Rangers’ second goal was bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning for reasons that extend beyond the scoreboard. It looks like Matt Carle was injured during a collision with Derek Stepan, as you can see most clearly around the 50-second mark of the goal replay:

It’s considered an undisclosed injury, according to various outlets.

Stepan seemed a little shaken up by that collision, but he’s been able to play since that happened.

The Lightning dressed seven defensemen, so the one bright side for Tampa Bay is that they can still put three different blueline pairings on the ice through Game 3. They’re still down a skater though, obviously.

Fast and furious: Rangers build lead, Carle and Stepan may be banged up

New Yoprk Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three
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The Tampa Bay Lightning survived early penalty trouble against the New York Rangers in Game 2, but the story was different in Game 3.

Cedric Paquette took a foolish penalty in the opening moments. Chris Kreider blocked the vision of towering Bolts netminder Ben Bishop and Derick Brassard made no mistake about this 1-0 goal:

There were a lot of fireworks in Game 2, yet Game 1 finished 2-1. If this contest is more like most of the Rangers’ games in this postseason, then that 1-0 goal could be big.

Update: Jesper Fast scored one of the prettiest goals you’ll see, with a very nice pass from Kreider:

That briefly gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead, but Steven Stamkos made an impact with a big hit and even bigger goal, so now New York is up 2-1.

Note: In the very beginning of that goal clip (and more clearly about 50 seconds in), you can see Derek Stepan and Matt Carle collide. That opened the door for Fast’s goal to some extent, but it’s possible both players might have gotten hurt on that play. Two of a few possible injury issues to watch after a hectic first period …

In case you haven’t noticed, the NHL is a young man’s game


Just for the sake of the discussion — and since everyone’s talking about Tyler Johnson today — here are all the players who have scored at least five goals in these playoffs:

Johnson (11), Corey Perry (7), Patrick Kane (7), Nikita Kucherov (6), Chris Kreider (6), Vladimir Tarasenko (6), Alex Killorn (6), Derek Stepan (5), Alex Ovechkin (5), Derick Brassard (5), Evgeny Kuznetsov (5), Max Pacioretty (5), Matt Beleskey (5), and Colin Wilson (5).

That’s 14 players. Can you pick out the oldest?

The answer is Anaheim’s Perry, who turned 30 on Saturday. Only slightly younger than Perry, Ovechkin will turn 30 in September.

Otherwise, it’s all players who are comfortably in their 20s, their legs still full of burst, their bodies not yet worn down by the grind of taking hundreds of pucks hard to the net, and all the punishment that goes with scoring goals in today’s NHL.

This isn’t to say that once a goal-scorer turns 30 he should be put out to pasture, like the theory about running backs in the NFL. Marian Gaborik, Justin Williams, and Martin St. Louis all had productive postseasons last year. This year is perhaps an extreme case.

But it does show the importance of youth, and how quickly a player — especially a forward — can go from getting drafted to making a significant impact.

True, patience is required when developing prospects. You don’t want to rush them. There’s nothing wrong with learning the game in the AHL. But at the same time, there has to be a sense of urgency in getting prospects ready for the NHL so they can enjoy as many productive seasons as possible, before their peak years (at a relatively low cap hit) are over.

Hence, all the talk surrounding 20-year-old Jonathan Drouin. While it’s not like the Lightning should be hitting the panic button that he hasn’t yet gained the trust of his coach, it’s not unfair to wonder if he’s fallen a bit behind in his development.

In a related story, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan knows “the next three or four years is the window” in Washington. Because, where will Ovechkin’s game be after that? Where will Nicklas Backstrom’s? The Caps have an opportunity over the next few years to get production from both their veterans and their youth. That’s the sweet spot every GM aims for. And those sweet spots don’t last long.