Remember when the Los Angeles Kings were stuck in their Stanley Cup hangover, struggling to find goals like it was last year’s regular season all over again? Jeff Carter sure doesn’t.
If there’s an MVP for this Kings squad in 2013, it has to be Jeff Carter. He’d win it in a runaway. It’s almost impossible to overstate how crucial he’s been to the success of the Kings this year. But I’m going to try my best and do it anyway.
The Kings have shot up the standings in the Western Conference of late and are starting to look a whole lot like the team that won it all last season. Right in the middle of it all has been Carter, who has been simply phenomenal.
Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets to help with the Kings’ playoff push last season, Carter wasn’t too impressive in his brief action in Hollywood last year. He had nine points in 16 games, and had a relatively quiet postseason, at least until the Stanley Cup Finals.
This season has been an entirely different story. Carter has 19 points on the season. Of those 19 points, 17 are goals. That’s tied for second in the league, behind Steven Stamkos.
What is more impressive about Carter than is goal total is how many of them have come in just the last several games. He seems to have finally found his game with the Kings, with goals in nine of his last 10 games. One of those games featured a hat trick, totaling 11 goals in 10 games. Absurd.
And to think, the Kings surrendered Jack Johnson to get Carter. No wonder Scott Howson is currently unemployed.