Carcillo Effect

When the Flyers come to town you better be ready. They're going to be physical, nasty and full of trash talk.

If last night's game was played two weeks ago, the Rangers wouldn't have had an answer. Could you imagine Ryan Callahan or Dan Girardi trying to jaw with the likes of Simmonds, Hartnell and Schenn? They would have literally laughed in the Rangers faces and then proceeded to bully the Blueshirts all night.

Instead, Dan Carcillo made sure there was a legit response and that the Flyers were more concerned about chasing him around the ice than winning the game.

So let's take a look at the Carcillo effect last night…

Of course it starts the way absolutely no one could have predicted with a goal on his opening shift to give the Rangers an early lead…

…Carcillo did a lot of things to piss the Flyers off, but nothing worse than lighting up the scoreboard.

…not that he likely needed any extra juice for a game against his former team, but that goal easily gave him the confidence to take his agitating style to another level.

Now with a goal in his back pocket and the Rangers dominating on the scoreboard, he went to work…

…when you're down and nothing is working, the absolute last thing you want is for some guy like Carcillo rubbing it your face. It's almost impossible not to lose your cool or focus.

…and if you don't think his teammates love that attitude and arrogance, just take a look at the smile on Nash's face in the above picture.

Immediately after the Rangers took the 3-0 lead, you could see the Flyers begin to exert themselves physically. They were finishing checks, forechecking and even ran Henrik Lundqvist twice. And all the while, continuing to invite Carcillo to dance until he finally decided to put an end to the Flyers bully tactics…

…yes, you usually don't like seeing one of your players fighting while up 3-0 as the opponent is always looking for something to spark the team. But as I mentioned above, the Flyers had already begun taking it to the Rangers physically, so I applaud Carcillo for not sitting there and watching his teammates get punished just because they were winning. If the Flyers were allowed to continue their physical onslaught it could have sparked them more than any fight with Carcillo.

…the end result? The Flyers physical game vanished, Kreider extended the lead and the Rangers were on their way to a victory.

And finally, the Flyers frustration with Carcillo completely boiled over with 11 seconds remaining in the game…

…when the opponent's entire team is literally trying to kick your ass, you know you've done your job.

So what did Carcillo's teammates think of his performance last night? Here's Derrick Brassard (via Seth Rothman)…

"He brings a lot of energy for our team. In these games, you really see how important this guy is for our team."

Carcillo also discussed his contributions…

In the three games Carcillo has played since joining the Rangers he has one goal, 12 hits and 15 penalty minutes.

…the Rangers are now 4-0-1 since the Carcillo trade. Yes, I know he didn't play in the first two games, but it's amazing how different the Rangers have been since the acquisition was announced. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I really think it shook this team up. Just think about the change in mindset a team has knowing one of their teammates is going to be mixing it up all night. I know it would raise my intensity level.

…reader "Say my Name" had a great point in my post game recap last night. He noted that not only is Carcillo providing grit and toughness, but those attributes have become contagious. The entire team looks tougher on the ice. They're winning puck battles. Firmer on the forecheck. Throwing big hits. We've all said that while getting individual toughness would be nice, the Rangers wouldn't be successful until the entire team had it running through their veins. They needed to be a hard team to play every night. They had to fight for every inch of the ice if they wanted to compete with the very best in the NHL. And since the arrival of Carcillo, it's starting to happen.

…having said all that, he's still one stupid move from never seeing the ice in a Rangers uniform again. So let's hope that as Carcillo has gotten older, he's also gotten wiser. As long as he knows where the line is, he's going to have a huge impact on the Rangers going forward.

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