The Los Angeles Kings are in the midst of one of the toughest parts of their schedule as they will face the other top teams of the Pacific Division. LA lost a tough one to Colorado at home in overtime, but were able to bounce back to defeat the Vancouver Canucks in overtime.
That game versus Vancouver marked the return of goal scorer Jeff Carter; Carter had missed the previous 10 games with a broken foot. The Kings were able to go 6-4 in that span, but it was evident that Carter’s goal scoring abilities were sorely missed. Let us look at what type of impact Carter will have on the Kings and how high up the standings they can climb.
Carter was the Kings’ leading goal scorer before he got hurt nearly a month ago. Carter led the Kings in scoring last season and has the ability to score 30 plus goals a season. This Kings team is one of the best defensively as it currently sits in 4th in the league in goals allowed per game with 2.1.
Carter was sorely missed by LA as they struggled in some games to muster any goals and with Carter’s presence they probably could have pulled out more victories. Carter’s career high in goals is 46 and that was just a few years ago with the Philadelphia Flyers. Carter has dynamic speed on the ice and is not just able to create for himself but also his teammates. Carter will not be held back by Coach Daryl Sutter as he played more than 15 minutes in his first game back and will be looked at to play more in the upcoming games.
As stated before the Kings went 6-4 in that 10 game span that Carter was out and were able to climb up a bit in the Pacific Division. LA currently sits in 3rd in the Pacific behind the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks with 35 points.
The Kings are certainly better with Jeff Carter back in the lineup as he makes the offense more dangerous. The upcoming games for the Kings will allow them to climb up the standings as they will face the Sharks tonight and the Ducks next Tuesday. It is very likely that in just one week the Los Angeles Kings could be atop the Pacific Division.
Carter’s abilities will boost the offense and the defense has been remarkable as of late with backup goalie Ben Scrivens playing some of the best hockey of his life in place of injured Jonathan Quick. Los Angeles is now looking like one of the top teams in the Western Conference and all of the NHL.
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