It was learned yesterday that Los Angeles Kings star Jeff Carter was put on IR with a lower body injury. The severity of Carter’s injury was not disclosed.
This is a big blow for a Kings team coming off a huge win over rival San Jose Sharks. Carter was the leading goal scorer last season for the Kings and is tied for the team lead this season with Justin Williams with 5 goals. The loss of Carter is devastating and the Kings will need many players to step up in his absence.
Carter is a dynamic offensive weapon and his loss will surely affect a Kings team that is ranked 18th in the league offensively. Role players will have to contribute more in Carter’s absence as well as two call ups from the AHL.
Those two call ups were winger Tyler Toffoli and center Linden Vey. It would be crazy to think that Vey and Toffoli will immediately fill Carter’s shoes, but they do have talent and can contribute in different ways.
Toffoli was the leading goal scorer in the AHL with 7 goals and Vey had a team high 8 assists. Toffoli and Vey could form a partnership on the second line with center Mike Richards. Toffoli has previous experience at the NHL level as he played in a handful of games last season. As for Vey this will be his first time playing in the NHL, but his talent is evident.
Carter has provided timely goals this season for the Kings and with his loss the defense will have to play even better as well as some of the other wingers on the team. Justin Williams will have more pressure on himself to score as well as Dwight King, who just scored a hat trick a week ago.
Dustin Brown will need to elevate his game as he has struggled to start the season, only registering 2 goals.
As stated before, not just one player will be able to supplant Carter’s production, but the Kings do have players that can contribute more. The inclusion of Vey and Toffoli will help with the loss of Carter as well as quicken the development of these two players. The severity of Carter’s injury will probably be disclosed in the coming days, but the Kings must pull together and be ready for the visit of the Nashville Predators.
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