Why Matt Carkner will be missed

Posted: January 18, 2013 in Archives, Ottawa Senators
Tags: , , , , ,

Ottawa Senators v New York Rangers - Game Two

Despite being a number 6/7 defenceman in the NHL, he possess a unique skill set that was valuable to this team. Carkner brought a certain level of intimidation on the ice and did an admirable job protecting his teammates. He made his presence felt and at times throughout the season was a difference maker.
It may seem like a stretch that a number 6/7 defenceman could be a game changer, but Matt Carkner  was exactly that. Remember game 2 in the playoffs versus the Rangers last year?

After sitting game 1, coach Paul MacLean added much needed toughness to his team. Adding Matt Carkner to the lineup was  a statement. His sole purpose was to get Brian Boyle to answer the bell.
He took exception to Brian Boyle’s questionable hits and personal targets to Erik Karlsson. And as we all know – he pumped him till he turtled and made him look like coward in front of his whole team. His fight was the turning point of the game and inspired his teammates to go on and win 3-2 OT at the Madison Square Garden. Carkner’s physical play was contagious and it resonated onto other players such as; O’Brien, Smith, Neil, Konopka, Greening, etc. Teams in the playoffs will search for inspiration and sometimes it can come from the least likely culprit. It can come in any shape or form. Matt Carkner did just that. He brought an element of inspiration in a unique way, something that the Sens lineup miss this year.

It should be a real concern for management going into the season having Chris Neil doing all the heavy lifting. Erik Karlsson will be a target all season long. And when the Ottawa Senators season is largely dependent on their reigning Norris Trophy winner, they should have someone who is intimidating presence that can protect him, and hold opponents accountable.

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  1. Cole. says:

    Agree 100% it was a huge mistake letting him go. Ottawa needs to address that they need a enforcer (other than Neil) to watch over some of their star players. Not that Neil doesnt do a great job and he can go toe to toe with just about anyone in the league but they need a Carkner. He will be missed.

    • SensBud says:

      Hey Cole,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my article! Carkner will be missed, but it may not be as apparent early in the year. It won’t be till later in the seasons when teams will realize that they can take liberties on Karlsson and will abuse it. I anticipate Murray will do something to address it. An enforcer isn’t needed every game but it’s nice to have a heavy weight that can toe-to-toe.

      The Sensbud

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