Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/15/14

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 21: Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Florida Panthers on December 21, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Panthers defeated the Flyers 4-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Five days before this season's lackluster trade deadline, the Los Angeles Kings swung for the fences and acquired Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jack Johnson and a first round pick. Carter would rejoin former Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards in what looked like a perfect fit for both sides.
Thirteen games later, Carter has helped revitalize a stagnant offense, helping the Kings to reach their potential as a Western Conference contender.
Carter scored six goals and nine points thus far but that number hasn't quite painted a good enough picture of his impact on his new team. Over that span, the Kings have tallied 44 goals which averages out to 3.38 notches per game. Compare that to the 123 goals the team scored over their previous 61 games-- which comes out to 2.01 goals every night-- and the team has a chance to win every night. Furthermore, in these 13 games, the Kings have scored 35 percent of their entire season's output.
Although Carter rarely played with Richards at even strength last season, the two have been exclusively paired together while in the City of Angels. The reunited tandem has helped captain Dustin Brown to move back onto a line with Anze Kopitar, establishing two legitimate scoring threats. And while the Kings currently sit in 27th in goal scoring, they have a chance to finish out of the bottom five by the season's end.
Most of the campaign, the Kings have gotten by on the Vezina Trophy worthy play of Jonathan Quick. The starting goalie, who just turned 26 in January, finds himself in the top five in goals against average and save percentage while tying Henrik Lundqvist with eight shutouts. Clearly he gives his club a chance to win every time he gets between the pipes. However, with a little more goal support, this team now has a legitimate chance to succeed.
That glimmer of hope recently manifested itself into a surprising Pacific Division lead following last night's epic shootout win over the Western Conference leading St. Louis Blues. Neither offense mustered anything past both Quick and fellow All-Star netminder Brian Elliott, however, the result has to be pleasing. Following 65 minutes of scoreless play, in which Elliott and Quick turned aside 37 and 35 shots each, respectively, the Kings sealed their sixth win in a row.
And who scored the eventual game winner? Jeff Carter, of course. Even though that goal won't show up in his season totals, its significance could be the season's high point. With one game in hand on the Phoenix Coyotes, are you willing to bet against a team that now boasts elite netminding, solid defense and now several offensive weapons?

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners and losers of the Senior Bowl

Report: NFL approved under-inflated balls from Patriots

New MLB commissioner: Return to Montreal is possible

Report: Pats employee taking footballs into bathroom on video

Greg Anthony caught offering $80 to undercover officer for sex


Robert Kraft wants apology from NFL if nothing found

NFL may be very close to returning to Los Angeles

Report: Kobe definitely returning next season

Report: Yankees don't want to pay A-Rod home run bonuses

Browner wants Patriots to injure Sherman, Thomas

Report: Rams, other teams interested in Nick Foles

Petition to remove Pats from Super Bowl has 40K+ signatures

Richard Sherman is not pleased with Roger Goodell

Buffalo Bills: The greatest champion that never was

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early B1G predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Allenby rang up $3,400 strip club bill on night of 'kidnapping'

Brady's dad: QB's relationship with Pats 'will end badly'

WATCH: Skittles Super Bowl commercial looks ridiculous

The five best Super Bowl defenses of all time

Mark Brunell explains why he got emotional over Deflategate

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Petition started to remove Pats from SB

NFL approved Pats' under-inflated balls?

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Early Big Ten predictions for 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks

Pats employee took footballs into restroom?

Report: Kobe not retiring

More questions about Allenby's story

Yanks don't want to pay A-Rod bonuses

Looking back at Super Bowls 1-48

Super Bowl MVPs through the years

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.