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Off Day Watch, 1/4: Carter? More Like HARTer

The Kings’ MVP gets his due, while the Wings of Change begin to blow.

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks

We’re going to spill a bunch of words about Jeff Carter before the week is out, but it’s safe to say the league is taking notice of what he’s doing for the Los Angeles Kings. NHL “Three Stars of the Week” nods? Two, in late November and late December. Almost breaking up a record-threatening win streak all by himself while getting booed mercilessly? Check. Second in the NHL in goals? Ahead of Matthews and Laine, natch. The attention started because of Carter’s knack for game-winning goals, though, and he’s still leading the league in that category. As for the Kings, here are the leaders over the past five years:

2011-12: Dustin Brown (6)
2012-13: Jeff Carter (8, league leader)
2013-14: Anze Kopitar (9)
2014-15: Jeff Carter (5)
2015-16: Anze Kopitar (8)

Guess it’s Carter’s turn.

HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH (OVER AND OVER)

KINGS NEWS

  • The LA Times has a new writer covering the Kings; here’s Jesse Dougherty on the Kings’ penalty kill. Interesting footnote: in the last month, only Chicago’s PK has been better, but theirs was so bad early on that they’ve only moved up to 27th. [LA Times]
  • To the surprise of no one, Teddy Purcell is tearing up the AHL. He’s got 14 points in 11 games. Reminds me of last season, when Christian Ehrhoff got sent down and was literally doing spin moves... vets are just good.
  • Self-promo: we took a deep dive into Anze Kopitar’s scoring struggles. [JftC]

LEAGUE AND WORLD NEWS

  • Tomorrow’s opponent: Detroit. They’ve had a rough year, but did the Wings need a year like this to force some changes? [Winging it in Motown]
  • USA! USA! USA! [SB Nation]
  • The Winter Classic was very satisfying for those of us that enjoy watching the Blackhawks lose, but Chicago’s ceremonial puck dropper was more embarrassing than their defeat. [Second City Hockey]

GAME TO WATCH

I’m baffled by the lack of an online streaming option for the NHL Network, so rather than telling you to watch the Sweden-Canada World Juniors semifinal, tune in for tonight’s Wings-Ducks showdown. Free advance scouting!