Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Posted: 12:46 p.m.
By Tim Panaccio
BOSTON Jeff Carter wasnt even skating hard at Wednesdays morning skate at TD Garden.
Nonetheless, outward signs point to Carter playing tonight when Flyers try to climb back into this Eastern Conference semifinal series which they trail, 0-2.
He said he wants to play, but wasnt certain he will.
A team source said that Carter remained a possibility. The fact that Jody Shelley stayed on the ice with the extras, means Shelley is out and someone is coming in and that someone figures to be Carter.
General manager Paul Holmgren listed him as a "game-time decision."
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette would not discuss how he might use Carter if he played.
I think Im going to pass on all theoretical questions this morning, Laviolette said. Jeff Carter looked good this morning.
Another reason to think Carter will play.
Carter strongly hinted hes not 100 percent that was apparent by how stiff he looked on the ice and that its a speed game that these two teams are playing.
Carter has not played since spraining his right knee in Game 4 at Buffalo. He has had a 10-minute skate and a morning skate with the team as his practice time.
Perhaps, the Flyers will use him in a limited capacity, such as the power play, which is what they did to ease Chris Pronger back into the lineup against Buffalo. Pronger remains sidelined with a back injury and a pulled hamstring. He is out.
Carter said he felt all right.
Asked whether he could be effective at half-speed, Carter gave an honest response.
I dont know, its a quick game right now, he replied. Im not too sure.
Asked what kind of minutes he could contribute, he said, Im not worried about that right now. Im worried about getting myself healthy to get back. When Im healthy, Ill worry about the other stuff.
What would he bring?
Hes a big skater, a big power forward, a great shot and deceptive shot, Scott Hartnell said. With him in the lineup, it definitely adds a different element to the game.
When it comes to the playoffs, familiarity doesnt necessarily breed contempt. It breeds flashbacks.
The Flyers are down 0-2 in this Eastern Conference semifinal series to the Bruins, which resumes tonight at TD Garden with Game 3.
Boston knows that series lead means nothing, given the Bruins dropped the first two games against Montreal in their last series and roared back to win in seven games.
We know its going to be a battle all the way to the end, Brad Marchand said. Being up 2-0 is a tough position to be in. Tonight is a huge game; 3-0 or 2-1 is a big difference. We have to make sure were ready tonight because they are going to come out hard.
No one is talking about the Flyers' comeback from a 3-0 hole last year as much as they are talking that since Boston did it to Montreal (from 2-0) in these playoffs, nothing is safe.
Youve already seen a few times in the first round teams being down and coming back, Marchand said. Its playoff time. Anything can happen.
Teams are hungry and they are battling for their lives out there. We cant underestimate them. We know if we sit back and wait, theyre going to roll. We have to be ready.
The other factor to keep in mind is that the road teams throughout these playoffs have had great success winning more than 50 percent of games.
I really cant give an explanation for that, Rich Peverley said. Maybe theyre a little more comfortable being away from home or the urgency on the road is more there.
You have to be prepared for anyone coming back. We were down 2-0 to Montreal. You got to be ready. You cant be too comfortable from the get-go. Theyre going to want to come out and set the tone. But at the same time, we can establish our game at the same time.
Pronger is now listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, as is goalie Michael Leighton.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org
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