Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Matt Carle on sitting: 'It's gutwrenching'

CALGARY — D Matt Carle was a healthy scratch again Tuesday night, which has been a familiar spot for the veteran this season.

Carle, 31, has sat out seven games, uncharted territory in his 11-year career.

"It's gutwrenching," Carle said.

Carle has zero points in 33 games this season, a minus-6. For a player with five 30-point seasons, it has been frustrating. But Carle is handling it like a pro, staying positive, wanting to be ready when he gets called upon.

Carle, under contract through 2017-18 with a $5.5 million cap hit, hasn't been approached about his modified no-move clause, saying he hopes he finishes his contract in Tampa Bay.

"That's out of my control," he said.

WAITING GAME: This hasn't been how RW Erik Condra drew things up when he signed a three-year deal with the Lightning on July 1. Condra was a healthy scratch for the third straight game and missed six games last month with a lower-body injury.

"I knew coming in they had 12-13 good forwards," said Condra, who spent his first five seasons in Ottawa. "You have to battle your way in the lineup. It's not easy to stay, no matter who you are."

Coach Jon Cooper said Condra will play on this four-game road trip. Condra compared it to last season with Ottawa, where he was a healthy scratch at times early in the season but had a stellar run in the second half.

VASY OKAY: There was a scare late in the morning skate when C Vladislav Namestnikov barreled into G Andrei Vasilevskiy, knocking Vasilevskiy to the ice and his helmet off. Vasilevskiy was shaken up, but the only damage done was a cut tongue, having bit it. "Nobody gets insurance for a little scratch," Vasilevskiy joked. Said Cooper: "It was a bit more gory than it was serious."

STARRY NIGHT: The All-Star teams are announced today, and G Ben Bishop and C Steven Stamkos, among others, should get strong consideration for the Atlantic Division team, which includes two goalies, six forwards and three defensemen. "It'd be a huge honor," Bishop said. "As a little kid, you used to watch that all the time, fun thing to watch. So to be part of it one day would be really special."

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