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2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2: Is Carcillo’s return good for Flyers?

Image (1) Carcillo5-thumb-250x237-12668.jpg for post 1871

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 2

Blackhawks lead series 1-0

Live on NBC, 8 p.m. EDT

Join us for a live chat for tonight’s game @ 7:45 p.m.

The Flyers lost Game 1 by just one goal, and were able to walk away knowing that at least they have the ability to keep up with the Chicago Blackhawks. Still, there’s no doubting that the Flyers were nowhere near as good as they could have been and never came close to using the attitude, physicality and perseverance they have become known for in the postseason.In an effort to get back to what had worked so well before, the Flyers will be playing Dan Carcillo for the first time since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Flyers lacked energy and an overall aggression, something that Carcillo will certainly work to provide in an extremely important Game 2.

If there is one player on the Flyers that can instantly change the direction a game will take, it’s Dan Carcillo. The small yet fiery player has the ability to be the emotional spark the Flyers need, especially after spending the last month of the season and the first two series of the playoffs becoming something of a cult hero among the Flyer faithful.

Carcillo was benched against the Montreal Canadiens to make room on the roster for Jeff Carter, something that Carcillo understands as a move that was needed for the team.

“Peter pretty much told me exactly why [I was going out], and it’s a no brainer - Carter comes back, he’s a 40-goal scorer, it’s pretty easy for you guys to figure out, too.”

Yet it wasn’t easy for Carcillo to just sit back and watch his team play without him. He’s an emotional player, a guy who loves nothing more than to get out on the ice and stir the pot. Yet he was relegated to watching the games from the box, not being able to be there for his teammates.

“It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my career,” Carcillo said. “I’m a guy who kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve and you always want to see the team do well, and you’re still a part of the team, but it was a tough pill to swallow.”

One thing the Flyers did excel at in Game 1 was playing a disciplined, in control game that never allowed the Chicago Blackhawks offense to get rolling with the man advantage. With Carcillo back in the lineup, there’s bound to be some penalties doled out as he does all he can to shake things up with big hits and some incredibly antagonistic approaches along the boards. Still, Carcillo isn’t expecting to be so out of control that he’ll hurt his team.

“I’m just going to play my game,” he said. “Running around, being physical and not taking any penalties to put the team down. And staying out of the stuff after the whistle.”

So is Carcillo’s return something the Flyers need? He’ll be replacing rookie James van Riemsdyk, so it’s not likely that the Flyers will be missing any big offense. Carcillo also isn’t likely to see anything over ten minutes of ice time, and will be used primarily as a means to give his team the mental and physical edge they lacked in Game 1.

All in all, if Carcillo is able to keep from doing anything dumb you have to see this as nothing but a positive for the Flyers. They’re getting a player back in the lineup that everyone on the team is happy to see back on the ice, someone capable of providing emotional and physical support while having the ability of scoring some timely goals as well.

As far as dumb plays go, we could see some fireworks between Carcillo and the resident agitator on the Blackhawks Adam Burish. Burish stated that he has no prior history with Carcillo, although he added “maybe after tonight we will.”

Carcillo might not be too thrilled with Burish after his hit on David Krajicek in Game 1. It was a dangerous hit from behind, although Carcillo isn’t expecting anything to happen with Burish.

“He’s a college guy. He’s not going to fight,” he told Darren Dreger of TSN.

I’d say with Carcillo, the Flyers are getting exactly what they’ll need: attitude.