The Los Angeles Times points out that the extra time off from the NHL lockout ended up helping Kings forward Jeff Carter.
“Absolutely. It was a long couple of years for me,” Carter said Tuesday after the morning skate. “I’ve had a lot of injuries with my feet, with my ankles. It was nice just to get away, let things heal, get some time in the gym and get stronger.
“I think it’s helped me out a lot this year. I feel pretty good out there.”
Carter has stood out for the offensively challenged Kings. He has had more moments of jump early on than he did for long stretches after joining the Kings from Columbus in February right before the trade deadline last season.
His ankle injury, suffered in late March at Calgary, needed time to heal. He landed in a walking boot, returned for the playoffs, but issues with the injury lingered until about the third round.
“It was bothering me, no doubt about it,” said Carter, who had eight goals and 13 points in the playoffs. “By the third round, and the Finals, it felt pretty good. When I came back, it felt like every time I got hit I was tweaking it. The strength wasn’t there. It was pretty tender too.”