NEW YORK - It's one thing to play two seasons without missing a game. It's another thing to do it while playing the kind of minutes that Jeff Carter does.
That's what Carter is doing, and yesterday he played in his 200th straight game.
After being out 20 games due to injury in the 2006-07 season, Carter has not missed a game, nor had an injury, and he even played through the flu that sidelined many of his teammates.
And his coach, for one, is impressed.
"In today's game that's hard to do," John Stevens said. "The schedule is so demanding, you're not allowed to hold people up any more, there is so much collisions, contact, to see a guy go through that kind of streak that plays those kind of minutes is pretty remarkable."
What is also remarkable is the season he is having. Carter went into yesterday with 38 goals and 31 assists, and leads all Flyers forwards with more than 21 minutes of playing time per game.
He has been steady in his approach and the way he takes care of himself, and doesn't like talking about what it would be like to go the rest of the season without missing a game.
"I don't want to think about it," Carter said. "It's bad karma."
But it's not easy to keep him out.
"The flu is not going to keep me out of the lineup unless I can't get out of bed," Carter said. "I don't know [what it is]. Just a lot of luck, that's about it. I don't do anything different. It's all luck. There's nothing else to it.
"You could fall into the boards wrong and damage your shoulder. There's nothing else to it but luck. You can work out all you want. Look at Rod [Brind'Amour]. He works out every day and he still gets hurt now. I know he's older, but it's luck."
It's also the style of play. Carter is not the kind of player to throw big body checks. He uses his size to gain offensive advantage and to separate other players from the puck when he's on defense.
Carter came into camp in the best shape of his career, but other than that he's not doing anything differently.
"He keeps himself in great shape, but he is no different than any other player," said athletic trainer Jim McCrossin. "Is there a facet of luck in there? I don't want to jinx him. It's a great accomplishment.
"I hope he goes 700 more games and gets an all-time streak. There's a lot of factors, one of them is luck and conditioning is another."
Taking good care of yourself and getting prepared for the game. He does all the right things. It just happens to be Jeff Carter's day. *