While still 'a work in progress,' Jeff Carter fitting in well with Penguins
Apr. 21—Of the 390 NHL goals Jeff Carter had scored before Tuesday, only three had been a first one for a new team.
So his goal that made it 4-0 late in the first period of a victory against the New Jersey Devils held at least some special meaning to Carter because it was his first with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It's always nice to get that first one of the way and get things going," Carter said after practice via video conference call with media Wednesday. "It wasn't the prettiest of goals, but I will take them any way they can come."
Carter's ninth goal of the season was his first in four games with the Penguins. But his impact thus far can be shown in other statistical ways for a team that's gone 2-1-1 since his deadline-day acquisition from the Los Angeles Kings.
Carter also has an assist and 11 shots on goal, and he has won 57% of 51 faceoffs for the Penguins.
The advanced analytics are even more kind to the start of Carter's Penguins tenure. Since the 36-year-old joined the team, Carter ranks among the top three Penguins in team attempted shot percentage (second, 62.4%), team shots on goal percentage (tied for first at 63.3%), expected goals-for percentage (fifth, 54.0%) and scoring chances percentage (fourth, 61.0%). (All statistics are courtesy naturalstattrick.com and measure the Penguins in relation to opponents).
"It's a totally different (system) than what we played in L.A., so it's been a big adjustment for me," Carter said of joining the Penguins. "I think it's definitely coming along. There's still a few things I need to tighten up on in terms of the system, but (linemates Jared McCann and Jason Zucker) have been great with me. There's a lot of communication between the three of us in practice and on the bench during games. Just little reads that are second nature to them but are taking me a little bit to figure it out. It's still a work in progress, but we're definitely getting better for sure."
Keep up with the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .