The real life NHL equivalent to Fulton Reed and Dean Portman has been reunited in LA as Philly’s former dynamic duo of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter will be on the same lineup card once again in a few short moments when the Kings take on the Blackhawks. For what it’s worth, the hockey equivalent of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire may be a more apt comparison for a whole host of reasons.
Regardless of their history, the Kings are no doubt a very dangerous threat in the Western Conference now with as deep a group of centers as you’ll see in the league. They got Richards in the first place to create a dangerous Kopitar-Richards duo down the middle. Now they can go Kopitar-Richards-Carter-Stoll and let the wingers take care of the rest. Suffice it to say, if Jarret Stoll is your fourth line center, your lineup is in pretty good shape.
Obviously a lot has been made of the Richards-Carter friendship as a key reason behind their premature departure from the Flyers and how they handle their reunion will be interesting to watch. By the looks of things it’s off to a good start according to Rich Hammond.
“We’re excited. It’s something that obviously we didn’t expect, when we got traded in the summer, but it’s nice to have him back,’’ Richards said after Friday’s practice. “He’s a good hockey player and obviously a good friend, and hopefully we can have success together on the ice.’’
In acquiring Carter, the Kings hope to boost their offense, which is lat in the NHL this season. Carter had 15 goals in 39 games with Columbus this season, but is a three-time 30-goal scorer, including a career-high of 46 goals with the Flyers in 2008-09.
It’s likely that Carter would start out on a line with Richards and rookie left winger Dwight King.
“Jeff and I have played together, and we have had success together before,’’ Richards said. “He’s a good player and he’s easy to play with, so it won’t take us long to get that chemistry back.
“He’s playing well right now. I watched the last couple of his games. He had a hat trick against San Jose the other night, and he’s playing well right now. He had a little bit of injuries earlier in the year, but he’s back right now. He’s said he’s healthy and excited to get started. He’s a motivated kid, coming in here, so it will be good.’
Oh and by the way they’ll probably be roomies too which is just adorable.
The most important question might be, is Jeff Carter a dog person?
Thursday night, shortly after the Kings announced that they had acquired Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick, Carter’s close friend and once-again teammate, Mike Richards, posted a Tweet that included the hashtag, “Need a roommate.’’
Richards’ three-bedroom house in Manhattan Beach is currently occupied only by Richards and his black Labrador, Arnold. That’s probably about to change, at least in the short term. Carter was expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Friday night and, if all goes well, will play Saturday against Chicago.
I’m personally really excited to see how this shakeup in Los Angeles goes. I like what Carter brings to the table as a player and on a team that plays such airtight defence, I’m really interested to see what he can do in terms of opening up their offensive game. I know there’s a temptation to put Carter on the wing, but he’s shown to be much more effective down the middle and I fully expect him to be finishing the year at center.
What do you think LA has in store for Carter? Are they officially a contender in the West?
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