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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Carson Quietly Solid in Debut

Tuesday, 12.09.2008 / 4:28 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Carson Quietly Solid in Debut

Brett Carson made a few noticeably good plays Sunday night, but most of his game was quietly solid en route to a sneaky 22 minutes of ice time, good for third-most on the entire team.

Paul Branecky
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For a 23-year-old defenseman going up against the likes of Alexander Ovechkin in his first NHL game, flying under the radar should be thought of as a considerable success.

“That was my whole game plan, just try not to make any blatant mistakes,” said Carson. “If I can go the whole game unnoticed, especially early on, that’s a positive for me.”

“I thought he played very well, and that was as tough of a game for a defenseman to play,” said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice. “There was a heavy two-man forecheck from a team that’s down a goal, and they just kept pounding.”

Carson’s NHL debut was a long time coming. The Hurricanes turned to Albany for defensive reinforcements six times last season following his impressive training camp, but each time it was Casey Borer, Tim Conboy or even Joey Mormina who got the call, not Carson.

After some conversations with then-Director of Player Development Ron Francis and the rest of the Hurricanes staff, he worked hard to get in better shape over the summer to make sure that didn’t happen again.

“You try to be as up front and honest with those guys as you can,” said Francis. “I think for me in the past, his conditioning needed to get better so that he could play at that higher level for 22 minutes. It comes down to the player making that commitment, and in the summer he made that commitment.”

Carson’s hard work was evident last weekend. Sunday’s heavy workload came during his third game in three nights, with travel required after each contest. It’s an unheard of schedule for an NHL player, but things are a little different in the minors.

“We do that quite often, so I was a little tired, but the adrenaline took over,” said Carson. “It’s pretty easy to get up for your first NHL game.”

Carson’s transition was made easier by the fact that so many of his AHL teammates have also made the jump recently. Just days before he joined the Hurricanes, he was playing with Borer, Conboy and Justin Peters in Albany. Now, injuries have brought all of them to the big club for the time being.

”Sitting in the room before the game there was a time where it was just me, Borer, Conboy, Leighton and Peters and we were all in there kind of joking around,” said Carson. “That helped me kind of ease the nerves.”

With four defensemen expected to remain on the injury report, Carson will most likely have to play numerous minutes again during the Hurricanes’ next game on Thursday in Philadelphia. 

Here’s hoping that game is as uneventful as his first.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61