Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter
Sportsnet.ca reported that Carcillo apologized to Clarkson face-to-face after Carcillo “used his stick to cut Clarkson in the right eyebrow."
Clarkson, who required three stitches to close the wound, was quoted as saying “from what I remember, he (Carcillo) came in and instead of giving me a shove he got his stick up and whacked me in the face."
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren is on record as saying that he didn’t feel the hit required a match penalty, nor did he feel the suspension was warranted, then again, what did we expect him to say?
The fact is, players are responsible for their sticks and, given Carcillo’s reputation as a player who plays on the edge and, on occasion, looks to inflict some pain on the opposition, the Referee handed out what he felt was the correct punishment, as did the League.
Carcillo was suspended for four games in December for his questionable actions against Washington Capitals forward Matt Bradley in which Carcillo cold-clocked the unsuspecting Bradley, dropping him with one mighty punch.
Carcillo was also involved in the controversial Marian Gaborik fight, in which Carcillo obliged Gaborik (who is no fighter) in an altercation. At the time of the incident, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella stated there was “no Honour” in Carcillo dropping the gloves against a novice like Gaborik.
For those who recall this particular incident it is pretty safe to say Gaborik was asking for a beating; that said, Carcillo could have been a little classier about it.
This latest two game suspension will serve as yet another blow to the Flyers playoff hopes as they already have to deal with the loss of forward Jeff Carter (out 3-4 weeks with a left foot injury), and goaltenders Ray Emery (out for the season with a hip injury) and Michael Leighton (out 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain).
Carcillo averages just 11:17 in ice time with the Flyers, but those who follow his game closely know he is a very valuable player, one who protects the Flyers' star players and is known to set the tone in many matches.
Carcillo has registered 11 goals and 20 points for the Flyers this season, which is acceptable for a player of his skill-set and the role in which he plays.
The fact is the Flyers need all hands on deck right now and the loss of Carcillo could cost them in the standings, especially when you consider the Flyers will be playing the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens in their next two contests (two teams that are a little undersized and can be intimidated by the likes of Carcillo).
Carcillo will be eligible to return to action on April 4 against the Detroit Red Wings.
For more NHL news and notes check out my website at www.theslapshot.com
Until next time,