Kings' Jeff Carter a streaky scorer | Hockey | CBC Sports

Playoffs 2013Kings' Jeff Carter a streaky scorer

Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 | 10:37 AM

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Jeff Carter has scored three goals in L.A.’s last two playoff games, both wins over St. Louis. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Jeff Carter has scored three goals in L.A.’s last two playoff games, both wins over St. Louis. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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What do Frank the Tank from the movie Old School and Jeff Carter of the L.A. Kings have in common? On more than one occasion they have gone streaking.
What do Frank the Tank from the movie Old School and Jeff Carter of the L.A. Kings have in common? On more than one occasion they have gone streaking.

Yes, there is a huge difference between Frank the Tank's in-the-nude jog that got him in trouble with his wife ("Everybody's doing it!") and what Jeff Carter has done, but hey, the analogy works for me! Allow me to explain.

When the Kings beat St. Louis 4-3 on Monday night to even up their series at 2-2 (it's now 3-2 for the Kings after an OT victory on Wednesday: more on that later), Carter picked up his first goal of the playoffs. Dating back to the regular season, he hadn't found the back of the net in five straight games.

Would this goal "open the floodgates?" Could fans expect to see Carter heat up at just the right time of the season?

The answer lies in some of his numbers this season.

In this shortened 48-game season, Carter finished fourth in the league with 26 goals, or about 0.54 goals per game. Finishing top-5 in goals should be looked upon as a successful season, especially compared to last season when he played 55 games with only 21 goals.

This season, Carter scored at least one goal in 23 of his games, and didn't score in 25. But, because of his streakiness, he was hardly a "goal every other game" player.

Carter had the following:

  • A 3-game goal streak.
  • A 5-game goal streak.
  • A 4-game goal streak in which he scored 6 goals.
  • A stretch of 5 goals in 6 games.

It's clear that when Carter gets hot, he continues to put the puck in the net. Ask any goal scorer past or present and he will inevitably say the same thing: when you are scoring, the net looks huge. You feel like anything you throw at the net will somehow find its way in.

The flip side of this coin is when things are not going well. That's when those same players will tell you the net seems to be shrinking every shift.  Carter certainly had stretches like that this season:

  • A 5-game goalless streak.
  • A 4-game goalless streak.
  • A 3-game goalless streak.

While it's not as consistent as gravity, we can look at this season and definitely label Carter as streaky. In case you're still not convinced, in Game 5 of the Kings' series against St. Louis on Wednesday, Carter picked up his second and third goals of the post-season and L.A. took a 3-2 series lead.

Which begs the question, "Honey, you think KFC is still open?"

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