April 3, 2012 5:00 pm

When will Carter come back?

When is Jeff Carter going to play again? Nobody knows for certain — including Carter — but it seems plausible that Carter’s return would depend upon the Kings’ situation. According to what Dean Lombardi said yesterday, it seems as though Carter’s ankle is going to be sore for a while. If the Kings head into their regular-season finale on Saturday still needing a win in order to clinch a playoff spot, would Carter play? Ideally, one would think that the Kings would like to keep Carter off the ice until the start of the playoffs, but first they actually have to qualify for the playoffs. Darryl Sutter is going with the typical coach’s mindset on the situation, at least publicly, in that he’s only focused on the players who are in the lineup.

SUTTER: “It really doesn’t have any impact, other than that we miss him in the lineup. … He’s getting better. They’re not going to amputate, I don’t think, or anything like that. … This time of year…guys walk around with boots when they’re not playing.’’

From the sound of things, Sutter won’t be too happy if the Kings’ season comes down to the last game…

SUTTER: “I don’t believe in an 82-game schedule. I believe in 80. If the last two are just about making (the playoffs), well, you’ve caused yourself a problem somewhere else.’’

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