Mid Season Report Report

Well, it’s a little past the mid-way point for the NHL season and while Dustin Brown is playing with the rest of the NHL All-Stars in Montreal, I thought I’d take the time to review the Los Angeles Kings first half performance… by reviewing other peoples thoughts about the Los Angeles Kings first half performance.

First off is The Battle of California. “2000 words to say ‘They’re Ok.”

Overall theme: The Kings won’t make the playoffs, but look out next season.

Most insightful comment: 1st Half MVP: Mark Hardy

I couldn’t agree more and in fact have talked about this before. The return of Mark Hardy to the Kings coaching staff has done wonders for the team this year. Sure the offense hasn’t been what it was last year, but the Kings are giving up much less goals and good defense wins games in the New NHL.

Best line: “The Kings may not be very much fun to watch right now, but it’s like dating a woman: yeah, you have to listen to her talk (“Oh really? Oprah said that? FASCINATING.”) and do stupid stuff (nobody on Earth actually likes bowling) and everyone kind of laughs at you (“What, you would sit through Twilight too if it meant you got laid, don’t lie!”) but it’s all worth it when you finally get to poo on her chest.

This is why I read Battle of California daily.

Mid Season Report Report Card: A+

Next, the Bleacher Report: “Is a .500 Record Considered a Legitimate Success?

Overall theme: The Kings won’t make the playoffs, but look out next season.

Most insightful comment: The Kings have been held to one-goal or less in 14 games so far this season, while not employing a player near a point per-game average. So much is to be expected from a team that traded away two of their top offensive talents, Lubomir Visnovsky (to Edmonton) and Mike Cammaleri (to Calgary), in favor of defensive stallwarts Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll (in the deal with Edmonton) and prospects. Becoming defensively responsible is one of the building blocks of a winning team, and the Kings seem to be taking the proper precautions, one baby step at a time.

Yes. (This is much easier having other people make my point for me.)

Best line: With enough salary cap space to take advantage of the mass salary dump predicted for the trade deadline (names like Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg), the Kings of Los Angeles are looking forward to bringing in their own era of Purple Reign.

While I highly doubt that Hossa, Franzen or Zetterberg would be traded at the deadline (considering they are all on the Detroit Red Wings and appear headed for a Western Conference Showdown with the San Jose Sharks) there is no hiding the fact that the Kings have a lot of salary cap space available this summer to make a big play for a top 6 forward.

Mid Season Report Report Card: A-

Next up, Life in Hockeywood’s: “The Doughty Manifesto

Overall theme: The Kings needs to step up their efforts to make 19 Year Old Drew Doughty the NHL Rookie of the Year, also know as the Calder Trophy. Also, the Kings won’t make the playoffs, but look out next season.

Most insightful comment: Doughty is everything that is right about the direction of the franchise. Passionate, talented and young. Doughty just turned 19 and is already showing the poise of a young Ray Bourque. Night after night. Shift after shift. Minute after league-leading minute. And now he’s a legitimate contender – if not the front-runner – for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year.

See! I’m not the only Kings blogger to have a man-crush on 19 Year Old Drew Doughty.

Best line: If Doughty wins Rookie of the Year, it validates all this waiting we’ve all done as Kings fans. It legitimizes the franchise’s direction as a whole, as we now have a definite direction that we are heading. No more slapping Band-Aids on long-festering wounds. We have scraped away the scabs of seasons past and have started on fresh ground.

While it would be a great achievement for Drew Doughty to win the Rookie of the Year this season, most Kings fans will be crushed when it ends up going to Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan. Ryan has 30 points in 31 games and since Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason has come back to earth, Bobby Ryan might have the edge over 19 Year Old Drew Doughty.

Also, winning Rookie of the Year doesn’t necessarily translate to success for a franchise. Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had 5 straight Rookie of the Years from 1992-1996. And no World Series appearances since 1988.

Mid Season Report Report Card: B-. But, an A+ for his most recent pro-Doughty post which includes potential for the best Kings ad campaign ever.

And now, the Mainstream Media. Scott Burnside at ESPN:

D-plus
The Kings hung around for a while, but that’s the problem when you don’t have a real No. 1 goaltender and a lot of kids. Maybe next season.

Overall theme: The Kings won’t make the playoffs, but look out next season.

From the McDonald’s of daily newspapers, the USA Today:

B-
Although the Kings aren’t likely to make the playoffs, they are again starting to look like a competitive NHL team. Their young talent base is among the league’s best, and they now have a look of a team on the rise. That was not true a season ago.

Overall theme: The Kings won’t make the playoffs, but look out next season.

And finally, hockey blog The Red Light District chimes in:

Los Angeles Kings (16-17-6, 38 pts.)
My pre-season prediction: 5th Pacific, 15th West
1st Half MVP: Dustin Brown
Look Back: It kinda looks like the wheels are starting to fall off in LA, going 3-5-2 in their last ten. But you gotta commend their effort in every game. They’re talent is still young, and once again playing musical chairs in net.
Look Ahead: I think finishing .500 would be a big step in the right direction for LA. I know that sounds stupid… but c’mon, the Kings in the playoffs?? They’re becoming the NHL’s Cincinnati Bengals, but are turning the corner for the future.

I’m not sure what it means to be the Cincinnati Bengals of the NHL… mainly because none of the Kings players have been arrested in the last few years.

Overall theme: The Kings won’t make the playoffs, but look out next season. Especially the LAPD.

Well, that was a lot of words to learn that the Kings won’t make the playoffs this season, but have laid the foundation for a bright future. For me and the Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy… we’d rather make the playoffs this season. It’s been a long 6 years since we last saw playoff action. And while I declared the Kings DOA after the Detroit loss last week, 2 victories in the 2 games before the All Star Break have put the Kings in a precarious position… the Kings are only 6 points out of the 8th playoff spot! But only 3 points out of being last in the Western Conference! But thanks to the New York Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers, it’s safe to say the Kings won’t be in the race for worst team in the league this season.

The Kings are back in action Thursday against the Blackhawks and we’ll be in attendance for the last 11.50 game of the Kings season (hopefully!) The Kings have 36 games left to make the 8th seed or get a high draft pick.

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.