Jeff Carter has been on point at the beginning of his second partial season with the Kings. Carter was acquired from the Blue Jackets for defenseman Jack Johnson last season, and was a crucial piece of the Kings playoff puzzle. In this NHL lockout shortened season Jeff Carter has been the most dangerous and consistent attacker on the ice. Jeff, we’ve noticed.
Carter scored the go ahead goal in a come from behind victory against the St. Louis Blues. The Kings were down 4-2 headed into the third, before Mike Richards and Jake Muzzin scored back to back goals early in the period to tie up the game. Off a faceoff shortly thereafter, Muzzin shuffled a back-hand pass to a wide open Carter, who sniped the short corner with a wrister, and ended Jaroslav Halak’s night. Anze Kopitar put the game away off a rebound from Halak’s replacement, Brian Elliott.
Carter’s 15th goal of the season Tuesday night puts him second in the league in goals behind the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos. Carter’s 15 goal, follows his performance against the Nashville Predators—A hat trick on hat giveaway night no less. Carter got the Kings on the board late in the second with a mis-hit that managed to scoot under Pekka Rinne rather than to Mike Richards. In the third, Carter put away a heads up pass from Colin Fraser as he fell to the ice. Less than a minute later he picked the last Nashville’s defender’s pocket at the blue line, and scooped the puck just over Rinne’s stick from his back hand.
Before the puck was in the net, hats were on the ice. Since they were give-aways, they hadn’t had the time necessary to be emotionally attached to their owners, and they rained down like confetti from the rafters. It’s like they were planted. It took multiple buckets full of hats from each Kings’ Ice Girl to collect them during the lengthy delay.
Carter certainly puts himself into the conversation for early season MVP with his 15 goals for the goal-challenged Kings. After seeing the Kings drop 5 and 6 goals on consecutive nights, 7 of which were in the 3rd period, the Kings wouldn’t seem goal challenged. But Carter has really helped the Kings in an area that they struggle in. He is not a MVP favorite, but his performance this season puts him in the conversation for me.
Is Jeff Carter a Serious MVP Candidate Hubsters?