Grading the LA Kings’ Performance for the First Half of NHL Season

It feels dirty to say that we are nearing the halfway point of the 2013 NHL season already. However, yes, that's the truth. The Los Angeles Kings are nearing game 24, which is the official halfway point for this 48-game season.

There have been plenty of talking points, surprise performers, slumps, injuries, and great plays this season already throughout the league. It's really a shame that it's only going to last for 24 more games.

The Kings, the defending champions, came into the year with more pressure and anticipation on them than any other season in history. As the defending Stanley Cup champions, won in historically dominant fashion, everyone was expecting more of the same. 

What we got to start the year was the much talked about, and often-predicted "Stanley Cup Hangover."

The team started the year 3-5-2 in its first 10 games and resembled the mid-season Kings of 2011-12. The team was unable to score, had trouble on the powerplay, and looked in a funk. Again though, just like in late 2011-12, LA was buoyed by the play of young talent like Slava Voynov, Jake Muzzin, and the sniper Jeff Carter.

Soon enough the team turned it around, crawled out of the basement, and has now put up a 10-3-0 record since that slow start.

The play of the youth and Jeff Carter, once the only thing keeping LA afloat, was fortified by the late appearances of the stars of the cast.

Anze Kopitar had seven points over his first 10 games with four goals and three assists. He's been on a tear and is scoring at over a point per game pace now with 15 points in his last 13 games.

Justin Williams has nine points in his last eight games, Dustin Penner has points in five straight, Mike Richards has 11 points in 11 games and Drew Doughty has turned a league worst minus-10 rating into a minus-2. The team as a whole is putting together offensive numbers that will make people forget abou...

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