VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) -Jeff Carter does it all. He kills penalties, plays on the power play, defends the opponent's top scorer and mixes in plenty of offense.
Considering his name came up in trade rumors quite a bit this season, the Philadelphia Flyers are lucky to still have him.
``We've been happy with Jeff all year,'' coach John Stevens said Friday. ``Maybe at times he didn't score as consistently as perceived he should, but he's a very responsible defensive player. He plays in every situation possible. He's a very fit individual, so he's capable of playing a lot of minutes. He's a valuable part of the team.''
Carter is a big reason why the Flyers are one victory away from reaching the second round of the NHL playoffs just one year after they finished with the worst record in the league. The 23-year-old forward had two goals and one assist in a 4-3 double-overtime victory over Washington on Thursday night. The Flyers lead the series 3-1 and can clinch on the road Saturday.
Carter's line - he centers between Mike Knuble and Scottie Upshall - accounted for three of the four goals in Game 4 while getting a bulk of ice time against Capitals star Alex Ovechkin's line.
``Everything is falling in place,'' Carter said.
Carter has three goals in the series. Only Danny Briere has more with five. Ovechkin, who had 65 goals in the regular season, has scored only the winner in the opener.
A first-round pick in the 2003 entry draft, Carter had 23 goals and 19 assists for 42 points in 81 games as a rookie in 2005-06. He had 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points last season when he missed 20 games due to injury. Despite all the trade rumors this season, Carter finished with 29 goals and 24 assists for 53 points.
When the Flyers lost All-Star center Mike Richards to a hamstring injury in late February, Carter picked up the scoring slack. He had eight goals in the nine games Richards missed, helping the Flyers go 5-2-2 in that span.
``When Mike went down, Jeff stepped in and that had to be a huge confidence boost,'' Knuble said.
Carter is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. His contract status coupled with an unproductive stretch made him a logical choice for trade rumors, though the Flyers didn't really shop him around. They would've considered dealing Carter for a top-flight defenseman, especially had they signed Peter Forsberg. Once Forsberg went to Colorado, there was no chance Carter would go anywhere.
Good thing for the Flyers he's still here.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Top NHL Public Bets

Advertisement

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Caps trying to regain footing out East   Washington didn’t exactly end the month of November on a stirring note. But can the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner return to form against the Islanders?
Thumbnail Luongo attempts to give Florida a jolt A new era of Panthers hockey begins tonight. But can the Blackhawks stand tall and deliver yet another stellar performance at the...
Thumbnail Lack of scoring punch hurting Ruff's crew Two of the Western Conference’s most dangerous clubs square off tonight in the Gateway City. Will the Blues or Stars come out on top?
Thumbnail Stellar goaltending powers Calgary's success When Johnny Gaudreau went down with a broken finger two weeks ago, all seemed for the Flames. Now, though, they’ve morphed into one of the Western...
Thumbnail Rookie phenom leads Toronto into battle   Washington is in the midst of a brutal stretch in the schedule. Can Alex Ovechkin & Co. dig deep to fend off the Maple Leafs...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Team Pages