Has anyone seen Jeff Carter lately?
While the Philadelphia Flyers centre hasn't exactly gone MIA in the Stanley Cup final against the Chicago Blackhawks, he hasn't established a presence or been anywhere near the force his teammates need him to be.
Carter's not the sole reason Philly heads into Wednesday's Game 6 looking to take this series to a seventh game, but the Flyers need him to find his game all the same, and quickly.
The more weapons the Flyers can throw at the Blackhawks, the better, considering what's at stake at the moment. The Blackhawks can win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years with a win in Philadelphia, and the Flyers need two victories to win their first Cup in 35 years.
Carter's production of one goal and three points in five games against Chicago isn't good enough. Five goals and seven points in the playoffs doesn't cut it, either.
Granted, Carter is coming off an injury. He missed 11 straight games with a broken right foot before he made his return in Game 4 against Montreal. He scored twice that night, raising hope that a healthy Carter was back on track.
But that two-goal outburst seems like it happened a light-year ago.
In Game 5, Carter had three shots in 17 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time. He played on the perimeter, spending more time in areas where it's nearly impossible to score from rather than going into the high-traffic areas and paying the price to get the job done.
That's just not good enough.
His foot has healed and if there is residual pain, he can go to the team doctor and take something for it.
Heading into Game 5, the Flyers were a perfect 9-0 in these playoffs from Games 4 onward and now that has changed.
The Blackhawks head into Game 6 looking to change another trend: They are looking for their first win in Philadelphia since 1996. The 'Hawks know they can't afford to be out-hustled and out-muscled like they were in Games 3 and 4.
Logic says Michael Leighton will get the start in net. Don't read too much into him getting pulled in Game 5 after he allowed three goals on 13 shots in the 1st period.
The Stanley Cup will be in the Wachovia Center on Wednesday and the Flyers will do everything they can to make sure it isn't presented on their ice.
They've been in this spot before and it would be almost foolish not to expect them to take this series to the brink at least one more time.
"It's one thing I've learned along the way about the playoffs ... one game is only one game. There's usually not a carry-over effect from game to game," said Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette after Game 5. "You know, this is just one page of the story. Tonight it was their page. A couple of days off here, go back to our building where we have had a lot of success. We'll look to win a hockey game and force 7."
And to help make that happen, the Flyers will need Jeff Carter to play like Jeff Carter.