"We got smacked and we woke up," Hextall, the Kings assistant general manager, told NHL.com.
Succinct. Honest. True.
The Kings don't want to talk about the Stanley Cup hangover, but for the first 10 games this season their play was inconsistent, somewhat erratic. They struggled to move the puck around the ice and keep it out of their net. They struggled to come down from the top of the mountain and start again as the equal to 29 other teams.
"The whole team is back and they were Stanley Cup champions," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "Becoming emotionally attached again I think is a difficult thing."
But not impossible.