Tyler Carlson of the Minnesota Swarm lasted just three minutes in net before he was yanked on Saturday after allowing three goals on four shots against the Philadelphia Wings.
Carlson has struggled as a starter which has many asking if he would be better suited as a backup goalie.
As we saw in the first round of the playoffs last year against the Toronto Rock, he has the ability to stand on his head and play with the best of them but his inconsistency has always been an issue; you never know what Tyler Carlson is going to show up.
Whether playing in the Major Series Lacrosse league (MSL) with the Peterborough Lakers or in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) with the Swarm, critics have questioned his ability to be a number one goalie.
Over the last two seasons in Peterborough he has been mediocre at best but in with all the superstar snipers in Peterborough it sometimes goes unnoticed, however, with the lack of scoring in Minnesota’s first two games Carlson’s weaknesses were really exposed.
The Lakers won the Mann Cup in Carlson’s first season and although he stole a couple games for Peterborough that year, he certainly wasn’t the reason they won the title. He started the first two games in the best of seven championship series in which Langley surprised many by winning both; in comes Mike Thompson for game three and Peterborough wins four straight and goes on to hoist the trophy.
Peterborough Lakers Head Coach and General Manager Joe Sullivan (who also happens to be the Swarm Coach/GM) even said in a press conference late last year that he needs to address the goaltending concerns before next season.
Zach Higgins on the other hand is quickly solidifying himself as a serious contender for that number one spot and is challenging Carlson for that starting position in Minnesota.
Higgins played in the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax) last year and was the starting goalie for the Durham TurfDogs, playing an integral part in their regular season success.
He was picked up by the Swarm last March at the NLL trade deadline but hadn’t seen any action until Saturday when he came in to relieve Carlson who let in three of the first four shots he faced. In relief Higgins stopped 17 of the first 18 shots he faced and made 31 saves on the night as he picked up his first NLL win in an 11-10 nail biter on the road against the Wings.
Carlson is a great kid but he’s much better suited as a second string goalie. Higgins will most likely get the start Sunday at home in the rematch versus Philly and if he plays like he did Saturday it’s almost a given that he will finish the season as Minny’s number one.