Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reinforcements: Carter, Lappy back for the Flyers

Suddenly, the Flyers are back to full strength: according to various sources, both Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere are back in the lineup for Game 4. While there had been speculation that Lappy would be back for Game 4, the fact that Carter is suiting up after the Flyers said there was no chance he would be back during the Eastern Conference Finals is nothing short of a shock. Apparently, the Flyers are pulling out all the stops in a Game 4 that will swing the series one way or another.

To make room for Carter and Laperriere, the Flyers will scratch Dan Carcillo and Andreas Nodl. Expect Laperriere to play on the 4th line and jump right back onto the penalty killing unit while Carter will likely be eased back a little more, playing mostly on the wing and some on the power play. What they shouldn't do with Carter is put him back in at center, especially with how well Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have been playing.

It's pretty clear the Flyers want to leave Montreal with a 3-1 series lead. Whether Carter and Laperriere are really healthy enough to help is a big question but they won't be replacing anyone that was making a huge impact in the series anyway. It's really a win-win for the Flyers to bring these guys back, though, with the best case scenario being Carter's and Lappy's returns give the team the same boost they got when Simon Gagne returned in the second round and the worst case scenario being one or both re-injures themselves and the Flyers depth steps back in the lineup once again. Either way, an already huge Game 4 just got a lot more intriguing.

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