NHL Los Angeles Kings

LA Kings: Could Jeff Carter Lead NHL In Goals In 2013-14?

Jeff Carter

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that they’re a team more predicated on defense and physicality than anything, the Los Angeles Kings have plenty of offensive talent to boast about. In the middle of that offensive talent is Jeff Carter, heading into his second full season with the club.

Carter got off to a bit of a rough start with the Kings. He took some time to adjust, but still provided some timely goals in the 2011-12 postseason that saw the Kings take home their first Stanley Cup title in the franchise’s history. Last year was a different story entirely.

With the Kings struggling to put pucks in the net, Carter took on a great deal of the offensive load. He finished among the top goal scorers in the league, finishing with 26 goals in 48 games. In the Kings’ preseason action earlier this week, he picked up right where he left off, finding the back of the net twice.

This does beg the question of whether or not Carter is capable of leading the league in goals. There’s no doubt, there’s some elite competition for such a feat. Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos, among others, will likely have a pretty large say in who takes home that title.

But don’t count Carter out. He’s completely comfortable in Hollywood now. He’s playing next to his buddy, Mike Richards. They’re not playing against top competition like Ovechkin and Stamkos are, as they’re logging minutes on the second line. It’s very possible that he could finish no. 1 in goals.

That doesn’t mean that he will, of course. However, given what we saw from him in 2013, it’d be a very large surprise to not see him in the mix among the very best in the game at finding the back of the net. It’s clear that he’s at least returned to that form he flashed in Philly, meaning he could be an extremely dangerous matchup for opposing clubs this year.