How About This For Optimism? Compare Matt Carle

And he hits people, too!

Yesterday's news resulted in a couple of people, particularly on Twitter, saying that we here at Broad Street Hockey are always negative.

Naturally, this rubbed most of us the wrong way. Not only do we disagree, but we've been positive to the point where regular readers have told us we weren't negative enough about the Flyers' play down the stretch.

Even though we've been positive before, let's add another positive post.

Unfortunately, it's yet another statement that is often met with resistance: Matt Carle is really, really good.

GP TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Rel QoT G/60 A1/60 G+A1/60 P/60 GFON/60 GAON/60 CorsiRel OZ%
Luke Schenn 82 18.00 0.392 0.732 0.20 0.41 0.61 0.85 2.48 2.64 1.5 49.3
Victor Hedman 79 16.32 0.506 1.009 0.14 0.42 0.56 1.07 2.93 2.42 8.4 50.0
Matt Carle 82 17.57 0.585 0.827 0.04 0.67 0.71 1.37 3.50 2.33 6.0 47.8
Keith Yandle 82 18.75 0.637 -0.815 0.31 0.43 0.74 1.21 2.65 2.19 1.7 51.8

All numbers at even-strength. He didn't score many goals this year, but he made up for it with primary assists. He faced tough competition, with good teammates, finished second to Lubomir Visnovsky in points per 60, didn't give up many goals, started in his own end often, and still drove the play forwards compared to his teammates.

Look at how he stacks up with Victor Hedman (former #2 overall pick, $3.5m ELC), Luke Schenn (former #5 overall pick, $2.975m ELC), and Keith Yandle ($5.25m for five years). I'd say that's a pretty good player, more than worth the $3.4 million cap hit he's charged with.

Now, before anybody can say "PRONGER", look at this:

Corsi% Shot% Goal% OZ%
w/ Pronger 50.4% 53.4% 57.0% 50.5%
w/o Pronger 50.9% 52.5% 60.2% 44.7%

For the 2010-11 season, where the shot sample was larger without Chris Pronger than with him, Matt Carle started in the offensive zone less often, controlled play better (and remember how terrible the Flyers Corsi was without Pronger? Yeah, not Matt Carle), and had a higher goal percentage (50 GF v. 33 GA) without Pronger than he did with Pronger (38 GF v. 30 GA).

Matt Carle was an elite defenseman in the NHL this past season. He was even better without Pronger than he was with Pronger this past season. So, yeah.

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