I have to say, I didn't know him too well coming in but I found Jeff Carter delightful during the playoffs. Remember when he got a hat trick against Phoenix? No, seriously, he did! The proof is right here. The best part was, he scored 3 goals in 3 different ways and each way was in a manner where his contribution can be discounted:
Fan- Penner did all the work, Carter just tapped it in!
Fan- Kopitar did all the work, it just happened to bounce off Carter!
Fan- The puck was right there, anyone could have scored that!
I love that. Even when Jeff Carter succeeds he manages to do so in a way that ensures he won't get credit for it.
The funniest thing about Jeff Carter is that he gets criticized for not doing the little things. "Sure, he scores," says one idiot, "but what about the things that don't show up on the stat sheet?" I've never understood that sentiment. Jeff Carter's value comes because he shows up in the stat sheet. Commentators will fall all over themselves to show someone reverse his grip on a face-off but they won't point out that hey, Jeff Carter wasn't supposed to be in that spot at all. It's so obvious that somehow it gets overlooked.
Like that first goal; Penner does a great job separating the defender from the puck, Richards supports, the puck gets back to Penner and he throws it to the front of the net. That's great. But Carter fights off the defender on his back and elevates the puck to the nearside and it tends to get treated in a matter-of-fact manner because hey, he scored. It's funny.
Carter's not really a danger to dangle through 3 people but, like Luc Robitaille, he knows how to put himself in the right position and consistently tap the puck in. People don't realize how hard that actually is, I think, and it leads to guys like Jeff Carter getting diminished. Ask Mark Fayne how hard it is.
This may not entirely deserve a spot on the Top 20 Moments of the Kings' Stanley Cup Run™, but I wanted to give Carter a little shout out. He deserves it. Carter may not "do the little things," but he sure as shit does the big things. When you score goals, drive the play and play good defense, do you really need to do anything else?
If you think about it, Jeff Carter is kind of like the Anti-Jack Johnson. Carter is great but gets demonized because he doesn't have The Look in his eye or whatever the fuck, while Jack Johnson is going to get named captain of the Blue Jackets while simultaneously breaking the single-season minus record whenever hockey starts up again.
Maybe that's why I like Jeff Carter so much.