Matt Carle Has Arrived


The Flyers got off to a great start last night, controlling the first period action and allowing just one shot on goal by the Hurricanes. However, despite some great chances, they were only able to hold a 1-0 lead as the period came to an end. Carolina tied it early in the second, and the Hurricanes had the tempo, until this play broke the knot in the third.

Game winner.

Obviously, Luca Sbisa deserves as much credit as anyone on that play. Matt Carle had a little trouble controlling the puck, but Sbisa had his back, and broke up the 2-on-1, sending the puck the other way. Midas Gagne then found a steaking Carle, who buried his shot in the high corner.

Gagne had opened the game's scoring, and he closed it with a long, buzzer-beating empty netter for a three-point night. On. Fire.

But it's great to see this defense playing well together and even adding to the offensive rush. Carle has started to look like the player he was touted to be after his rookie season, and that Downie/Eminger trade has been an absolute steal so far. He's been among the ice time leaders for the Flyers almost since the start, including last night's 24+ minute night alongside Braydon Coburn as the team's top pairing. And, perhaps most importantly, the Flyers have lost just two of their nine games since Carle was acquired, one of which was the first game immediately after. Over that stretch, they've allowed more than three goals only once.

Notes: Jeff Carter had the primary on Gagne's 12th. This offense is looking scary, even in a low-scoring game. Gags is second in NHL points (30) and goals (13), and Carter leads in goals (15). Niitty was solid in net, turning aside 27 of 28. Josh Gratton and Wade Brookbank engaged in early fisticuffs, drawing ooh's and ah's, but nobody really landed anything in the barrage. The great fight that almost happened but didn't was betweeen Mike Richards and Rod Brind'Amour. The Flyers captain wasn't happy with a dirty shot he took from RBA, and he wanted to drop the gloves. It looked like Brind'Amour was game for it, but the zebras said no go. The Flyers will debut their new throwback third jerseys tomorrow afternoon against these same Hurricanes.

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