Spotlight on the Opponent: Matt Carkner

What: NY Islanders at Detroit
When: Monday, December 23, 7:30pm (TV: FSD+)

Matt Carkner

If there’s anything Matt Carkner is familiar with, it’s an NHL penalty box.

Carkner, 33, is a defenseman for the New York Islanders by trade, but his hobbies include fighting and being whistled off the ice.

For his 212-game NHL career, Carkner has accumulated 484 penalty minutes, well over two per game.

Carkner is a late bloomer of sorts. He had a couple cups of coffee with San Jose and Ottawa, but didn’t make it full-time in the league until the 2009-10 season, at age 29.

Carkner was drafted way back in 1999, at age 18, by the Montreal Canadiens as the 58th overall pick of the NHL Entry Draft, but he never signed with the Habs. His first pro contract was signed in 2001, with the Sharks. Carkner made his NHL debut by playing in one game for San Jose in the 2005-06 season.

If you Google or YouTube Carkner, you’ll find lots of fight videos, mainly because Carkner fights a lot. His is sort of a dying breed—the pure enforcer whose mere presence on the ice could lead to a scrap.

This season, Carkner has played in 28 games, has all of three points, but has been whistled for 77 minutes in penalties. Typical Carkner “production.”

Carkner has been more of a career minor leaguer than an NHLer (he’s played in 527 minor league games, almost three times as many as in the NHL), but part of that has been due to injury. Carkner has battled through two serious knee injuries and a significant wrist injury along the way. The Islanders are his fourth NHL organization—five if you count the Canadiens.

Carkner wears no. 7 for the Isles.

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Atlantic Division Standings, Red Wings Stats (thru 12-22-13)

Monday a.m., 12/23/13

Atlantic Division GP W L OL PTS
Boston Bruins 36 24 10 2 50
Tampa Bay Lightning 36 22 11 3 47
Montreal Canadiens 38 22 13 3 47
Detroit Red Wings 38 17 12 9 43
Toronto Maple Leafs 38 18 16 4 40
Ottawa Senators 38 14 17 7 35
Florida Panthers 37 14 18 5 33
Buffalo Sabres 36 9 24 3 21

Red Wings stats (thru 38 games)

Player Pos GP G A PTS PIM
Henrik Zetterberg LW 28 11 19 30 6
Pavel Datsyuk C 31 14 15 29 6
Daniel Alfredsson RW 33 9 19 28 6
Niklas Kronwall D 36 4 21 25 26
Johan Franzen C 30 9 13 22 22
Tomas Tatar LW 30 7 7 14 6
Justin Abdelkader LW 34 3 10 13 12
Joakim Andersson C 38 6 6 12 8
Darren Helm C 15 7 3 10 2
Todd Bertuzzi RW 32 6 4 10 20
Danny DeKeyser D 23 2 8 10 12
Jakub Kindl D 37 1 9 10 10
Drew Miller LW 38 4 4 8 13
Gustav Nyquist RW 13 4 4 8 2
Jonathan Ericsson D 28 1 7 8 24
Dan Cleary RW 37 3 3 6 20
Brendan Smith D 28 0 6 6 36
Kyle Quincey D 38 1 4 5 43
Stephen Weiss C 26 2 2 4 12
Tomas Jurco RW 4 2 1 3 2
Mikael Samuelsson RW 21 1 2 3 6
Cory Emmerton C 9 0 2 2 4
Brian Lashoff D 34 0 2 2 16
Riley Sheahan C 3 0 2 2 0
Adam Almqvist D 2 1 0 1 0
Luke Glendening C 14 0 1 1 4
Jordin Tootoo RW 10 0 1 1 5
Patrick Eaves RW 8 0 0 0 2
Jonas Gustavsson G 16 0 0 0 0
Jimmy Howard G 21 0 0 0 2
Petr Mrazek G 3 0 0 0 0
Xavier Ouellet D 3 0 0 0 0
Team Total 38 98 175 273 327

 

Player GP W L T/O SV% GAA SO
Jonas Gustavsson 16 10 3 2 0.915 2.35 0
Jimmy Howard 21 6 8 7 0.91 2.65 2
Petr Mrazek 3 1 1 0 0.932 1.49 1
Team Total 38 17 12 9 0.913 2.45 3