From: San Jose Sharks Website
(left) San Jose won 2-1 on Monday night and Matt Carle had an assist and was on the ice when the game winning goal was scored. San Jose leads Detroit 2 games to 1.
San Jose’s rookie point man Matt Carle knows about the scrutiny the second time around and will not let the stats from an individual night bother him.
The Alaska native is among the leading NHL rookies in playoff scoring (two goals and three assists), and is a plus four after eight contests. The fact that the power play produced Game 1’s game-winning goal, and it was scored by Carle, was long forgotten by many after the power play didn’t score in Game 2’s loss.
“After a whole year, I’m a lot more confident,” said Carle. “The game tends to be a lot easier now.”
Partly because Carle knows what will work and what won’t work at the NHL level.
“You can’t do what you made work in college,” said Carle. “The plays get picked off.”
Carle’s goal in Game 1 was reminiscent of his Denver University days. On the play, he dropped down from his point and Joe Thornton hit him in stride.
“When I was in school, I would roam round the left side and he would find me,” said Carle. “Joe makes it that much easier.”
Still, scoring now, even with the man-advantage, is much harder than the first 82 contests.
“Teams in the playoffs are all quality teams,” said Carle about playoff power play percentages shrinking across the board. “Sometimes you’re going to have off nights and sometimes you’ll struggle because you don’t get the bounce. Some nights you have all the confidence in the world and some nights you don’t.”
Carle likes his club’s chances up a man virtually every night though.
“We play five really creative players and the more creative we are, and the move we move it around, the more successful we can be,” said Carle. “If we do that, it will take care of itself.”
Plus the Wings are a very potent defense, including the penalty kill, with Dominik Hasek still performing his magic in the crease.
“Hasek has had some big saves,” said Carle. “You can’t let it get to you. In Nashville we struggled and the power play was big in Game 5. We just have to keep our confidence.”