LA Kings: Dustin Brown tells younger player to ‘be ready’

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former LA Kings captain Dustin Brown spoke with the media following Friday’s loss, indicating he’s excited to have so many young players.

After a fairly solid game on the defensive side, the LA Kings couldn’t quite hang on to their slim lead. Surrendering a late third-period goal to David Perron and the Blues, the LA Kings fell in overtime to St. Louis, as they fall to 0-2-2 since their six-game winning streak.

While patience remains critical in this pivotal season for the LA Kings’ youth, losses like these are no less frustrating. Dustin Brown, who put the silver-and-black in the lead early in the third, has been one of the few LA Kings has been consistent as of late, even if it doesn’t necessarily show on the scoreboard.

Following Friday night’s loss where he recorded a team-high eight shots, he spoke with the media about the defeat and what to prepare for tomorrow night and beyond.

“That’s a little surprising,” Brown said upon realizing he made eight shots. “A lot of it was just shooting at the goalie on purpose, knowing I can’t score from some of the places that I let the puck go, just trying to give opportunities off the pads. We’ve got a couple of good chances like that on the rush is throwing off the goalie’s pads. I think we could do more of it.”

Brown’s goal — his 12th of the season at 0:37 of the third period — was assisted by longtime teammate Anze Kopitar who moved into a tie with Dave Taylor for third on the franchise’s all-time assists list with 638.

“He’s just going to keep on climbing the longer he plays here,” Brown said of Kopitar. “I mean, that goal is funny because I think I picked the pass off on a clearing attempt, and I give it to him, and we got back to the bench, and we both kind of chuckled because as soon as I gave him the puck, I think we both knew what was gonna– like the exact same play. And that’s the benefit of playing with one guy and clicking with a guy for the last, whatever many years we played together as we kind of knew that was gonna happen before it happened.”

As for the game’s end result, it wasn’t ideal for the LA Kings, to say the least. What’s even harder to stomach was just seconds before the Blues’ late equalizer, the LA Kings came very close to icing the game with an empty-net goal. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and Brown and company are now forced to regroup and rebound.

“Yeah, I mean, I thought we played actually a really good game with a lot of really good chances,” the 36-year-old admitted. “We just didn’t find the back of that as much as we liked. To give up a goal late, I mean, it’s a hockey game. Stuff like that happens. I think it’s a good lesson for us as a group. [Our] six-game winning streak, we squeaked out a couple games where the bounces went our way. It’s a good lesson to learn. You’re going to have to play a full 60 to get out of this little skid we’re in.

“A lot of good things we can take from the game, but it is a frustrating loss.”

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While they are missing quite a few of their players due to injury, the Blues are nonetheless streaking, having racked up their fourth-straight victory on Friday in Los Angeles. They will hope to make it five-in-a-row in their rematch against the Kings on Saturday night. In order for that to happen, though, they need to bring their A-game against a LA Kings squad who put on a great defensive performance.

As for Dustin Brown, he has some sound advice for his younger teammates.

“Be ready,” the former LA Kings captain stressed. “It’s another opportunity. We have some good young players playing, and it’s an opportunity every night to make an impact on the game, and it’s not necessarily always on the scoresheet. I think that’s the thing, is we have some guys coming in and making plays, doing really good things out there, and it’s just building on your game. If you can find a way to contribute every night, you’ll find yourself in the lineup every night, and that’s exactly what we need and what we want. As a guy who’s been here my whole career, I’m excited about some of these young guys coming up because it’s going to make us a really good team.”

While Dustin Brown continues to lead by example, there’s hope that some of the younger players for the LA Kings begin to follow suit on a more consistent basis.

It is sometimes easier to forget how inexperienced this team as a whole, but with veterans like Brown, Kopitar, and Drew Doughty around, there is no reason why the LA Kings, as young as they are, can’t rebound and string together another winning streak.

First thing’s first, though: to create a winning streak, the LA Kings must win a game, and they will hope to do that in their rematch with the Blues on Saturday night.