Friday, September 25, 2009

Matt Carle To Be Paired With Pronger In Philly

(above) DU Alum Matt Carle is congratulated after scoring a first period goal last night

From: Philadelphia Daily News
by Frank Seravalli

DU alum Matt Carle has learned a lot from Chris Pronger in the short time they have been able to work together since Flyers training camp opened 12 days ago.

The biggest lesson for Carle, so far, has just been about keeping up.

Pronger averaged more than 27 minutes of ice time last year with the Anaheim Ducks. An effortless skater and workhorse, Pronger has efficiently managed his energy to play nearly that many minutes every game for the last 15 years.

The only problem is that Pronger needs someone to skate with him - a partner in crime with whom to log all of those extra minutes. For the Flyers, it's a good problem to have.

Carle, Pronger's cohort, has never played close to as many minutes in his four year NHL career. Carle was just over 21 minutes last year - and at times saw fewer than 20. Last night, Carle and Pronger were both close to 28 minutes in a 2-1 overtime win against the Devils. And that's just in the preseason.

The last time Carle played this much was at the University of Denver 3 years ago when he was a junior.

"It's an experience, for sure," said Carle, who scored a power-play goal in the first period last night. "You're playing against the other team's top line all night. Aside from a few games here and there with injuries when I was with San Jose [last in 2007-08], I have never really been relied on as a top pair guy."

Carle sat down with coach John Stevens and general manager Paul Holmgren in the summer - before the Flyers went out and nabbed Pronger from Anaheim - and told him to get ready for a bigger role this season.

That talk, Carle said, kickstarted his workouts.

"It's definitely something you've got to be prepared for," Carle said. "It's something that you work for in the summer."

For Pronger, the minutes fuel his summer plans.

"That's why you put the work in the summer," Pronger said. "You train like you're going to be out there a lot. That hard work you put in the offseason pays off here in the beginning of the season and later towards the end.

"Carle is a guy that moves the puck well and makes good decisions. He makes a good first pass, he makes the safe play and he is patient with the puck - that's often overlooked."

Stevens is not worried about Carle having to make any adjustments, although his ice time could change if Pronger is paired with either Timonen or Coburn once the regular season starts.

"I think if you ask anyone, the more you play the better it is for them," Stevens said. "I haven't had a player come to me yet and say he's been playing too much, so I don't anticipate Matty knocking any time soon.

"He's a good player. I think that 1 year in San Jose he played an awful lot, put up some big numbers, and I think he's anxious for more opportunity here."

Carle agreed. He thinks it's easier to get into a rhythm with more time.

"It almost makes it a little easier when you're going that much," Carle said. "I've been a sixth or seventh guy before, playing maybe 12 or 14 minutes. You finally get on the ice and your legs aren't there. Then you go and sit another 4 or 5 minutes between shifts.

"I'm not there yet and I've still got a ways to go, [but] you always want to be a player of that top pair caliber."

1 comment:

achsdu17 said...

That's awesome... I'm sure he'll learn a ton from a great vet like that and he'll be given a ton of playing time to.