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Like I mentioned in the first slide, the Kings have found three lines that are producing on a regular basis, and a fourth line that is logging good, solid minutes and also contributing here and there.
How does just one player make that happen?
It's all about a depth-chart shuffle. Before Carter, Richards had a rotation of linemates: Dwight King, Trevor Lewis, Dustin Penner and Jarret Stoll.
Somewhere in that myriad of players, it didn't make sense. Styles didn't add up. Richards like to pass, but who likes to shoot? And equally as head-scratching was the third line that seemingly didn't have a real role for anything.
Now it makes sense. And with the absence of Jack Johnson, so does the defense. Voynov is on the power play and playing second-pairing minutes while Alec Martinez, who impressed a lot of people last year, is back to a full-time job and playing very well.
Sometimes, one player doesn't prompt a big depth-chart shuffle, but when that player is Jeff Carter, it does. Everyone on this team has seemingly found their role, from fourth unit to first unit, at the perfect time.