Will Stanley Cup Hangover Prevent LA Kings from Making 2013 NHL Playoffs?

The Los Angeles Kings have struggled through the annual Stanley Cup hangover in the early part of the 2013 season, but hockey fans in Southern California shouldn't panic over the team's chances of making the playoffs and having an opportunity to defend its title.

Since 2000, only the Tampa Bay Lightning (2005-06) and the Carolina Hurricanes (2006-07) have failed to make the playoffs one year after winning the Stanley Cup.

As of Tuesday, the Kings are one point from the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but on the other hand, they are also just six points behind the Vancouver Canucks, who are in third place.

To be fair to the Kings, eight of their 11 games thus far have been played on the road. When they start playing at home more often, especially in March when 10 of their 17 games are at the Staples Center, the Kings will begin to pick up points more frequently.

The Kings' problems are their inability to score goals consistently, poor defensive play in their own end, the power-play and star goaltender Jonathan Quick under-performing.

Too many of the team's best players are not living up to expectations, and it's hard to win games when this happens.

Player GP G A P +/- Dustin Penner 4 0 1 1 -1 Drew Doughty 11 0 4 4 -10 Simon Gagne 9 0 5 5 2 Justin Williams 11 1 4 5 3 Mike Richards 11 1 5 6 -5   W/L/OT GAA SV% SO SA Jonathan Quick 3-4-2 2.70 .891 0 230 Quick's slow start is the most surprising part of the team's season thus far, but he is one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL and will certainly bounce-back. Any team with a Vezina Trophy-caliber goalie such as Quick is going to be in the playoff race, but the Kings have to give him more offensive support.

Only three players have scored more than two goals this season for head coach Darryl Sutter, so it's no surprise that the Kings rank 23rd in goals scored. Los Angeles has failed to score three g...

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