Thread: Matt Carle
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02-22-2013, 04:07 PM
Norm MacDonald
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Originally Posted by fauxflex View Post
I didn't see Carle winning a lot of (physical) puck battles against forecheckers. There were numerous times when the Flyers would be hemmed in their zone with Matt Carle on the ice. This notion that if only he was still here, the Flyers would be hemmed in significantly less is bogus imo. The guys we have now aren't any less effective at this aspect.
I don't know what to say other than maybe you weren't paying attention. Perhaps Carle is only average at defending the cycle, but he can transition the puck so the puck won't go right back into their own zone.

That sounds like it's glorifying some simple plays. A short D to D pass may be subtle and effective at times, but it certainly isn't something requiring a specialized skill. Anyone can do it, no need to pay a guy >$5 mil for it.
It's not simple D-to-D passes, it's clean, smart passes that smoothly direct the puck forward. It's how Carle was consistently among the leaders in even strength points for defenders. And if were so easy that "anyone can do it", why do so many of Schenn/Grossman/Coburn/Gervais's passes result in a stymied rush or turnover.

I know it sounds goes against the popular perception of these players' roles and capabilities, but you know, I have spent a considerable amount of time focusing on these guys, trying to be objective. Some have shown surprising puck moving skills. Grossman in particular has been impressive in terms of his two-way game. I've seen him make quick, decisive puck moving/transition/breakout plays where I ask myself "Would Matt Carle do it that well?" and sometimes I have to say the answer is "no". I'm really impressed with him. Gervais has made some nice plays in skating or passing the puck out swiftly as well. Schenn too has shown flashes of being a capable puck mover. If you really look at it objectively, and ignore the perception and "role" that these guys may be labeled with, and compare the puck moving plays they attempt, I just don't see anything remarkably superior in what Carle does versus these guys. If you take a fresh, objective look, you might be surprised.
It's not a fresh and objective to view exaggerate the skills of players on your team, nor is it fresh and objective to continue the unwarranted Carle bashing that was so popular on these boards. Gervais is a borderline NHL player, Schenn can't skate or handle the puck, and Grossmann can't pass and read breakouts.

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