Tampa Bay Lightning: The Real Matt Carle Effect

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As defenseman in the NHL, one of the most important parts of the job is to not turn the puck over. Well, turnovers have burned Matt Carle more times than most and these turnovers are the main reason why he is so highly criticized. Carle seems to be on the wrong side of the turnover more times than not and those turnovers are easy to see to fans watching at home or in their seat at Amalie Arena. Here is an example from a few years go that just cannot happen as an NHL defenseman.

That goal, scored by former New York Ranger captain and current Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan, should never have happened. Both teams are in the middle of a line change and as a defender you have to understand that. Your job is to get the puck out of your zone safely, even if it means changing possession in the attacking zone. Knowing the opposing team is changing as well, Carle should have been aware of the oncoming pressure and made an outlet at the Tampa Bay Lightning bench where he could have backhanded the puck to either the forward coming off the bench or off the wall and into th e attacking zone. Plays like this don’t exactly help your case in terms of being a fan favorite.

However, when you think of turnovers, Matt Carle doesn’t exactly take the top spot on his own team. Carle actually ranks ahead of star blue liner Victor Hedman in turnover plus-minus. Though his number is still relatively high, you will notice some names that you wouldn’t exactly expect to be necessarily be in the same category as Carle.

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As you can see, the blue line in general had a problem with turnovers last season. In the same number of games, Victor Hedman almost had more than double the amount of turnover that Carle had. If each player played 82 games based off of these numbers, Carle would rank only behind Anton Stralman and Jason Garrison for the least amount of turnovers committed by a Lightning defender.

Funny thing is, you don’t notice anyone get on Victor Hedman or Braydon Coburn about their turnovers. Their heads are not being put on the chopping block or being asked to leave town. So, even though Matt Carle has a history of turnover issues, he isn’t exactly the only one that has this problem. Hold others accountable for their mistakes at the same level as you do for Carle.

Next: The Underrated Aspects Of Matt Carle's Game