Flyers to again be without Carter in postseason?

By David Strehle
ot Stove NHL / Philadelphia Flyers Correspondent

For a second consecutive playoff season, Philadelphia Flyers’ leading goal-scorer Jeff Carter was injured in the fourth game of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Copyright David Strehle, 2010

Last year in game four of their first round series with the New Jersey Devils, Carter was screening goaltender Martin Brodeur when he took a Chris Pronger point blast off the skate and suffered a broken foot.

After wincing in pain, he still had the presence of mind to gather the rebound and tuck the puck past Brodeur for his second goal that night.

Carter would go on to miss 11 games with that injury before returning in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens.

Last night, Carter was injured in a freak collision with behemoth Buffalo Sabres’ defenseman Tyler Myers.  As Carter cut across the slot in front of the Sabres’ net, Myers was skating from behind the net to clear the porch in front of Ryan Miller.

It appeared that neither player saw the other as they got tangled just in front of the blue paint of the Buffalo crease.  Myers went to the ice and stayed down, and the immediate concern was on him as he looked shaken up.  Carter’s shoulder came in contact with Myers’ jaw, and the very thought of yet another NHL player suffering a concussion ran rampant throughout HSBC Arena.

Almost lost in the shuffle and speculation of the moment was the fact that Carter was hobbled after the two had also locked knees in the collision.

Both Myers and Carter left the ice surface and went straight to the locker room.  Myers came back for the second period, but Carter did not return.

The impact appeared to jar Carter’s right knee, and the look on his face upon contact could mean some very bad news for Philadelphia.

Already having been shut out twice by a 1-0 count in this series, the Flyers’ offense cannot afford to lose Carter for any significant amount of time.

It’s interesting to note that both of Carter’s postseason injuries occurred on April 20th.

Perhaps in the 2012 playoffs, head coach Peter Laviolette should consider making Carter a healthy scratch if there is a game scheduled for that date – with “healthy” being the operative word.

Carter is in the dreaded “day-to-day” category with a “lower body injury”, but day-to-day is the same classification that Pronger has been listed the past couple of weeks while recovering from surgery on his broken hand.

For Philadelphia’s sake, let’s hope that Carter’s malaise isn’t serious enough to drag on the same way as Pronger’s, especially now that the series has come down to a best-of-three affair with the teams tied at 2-2.


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