Hoping to end their three-game losing streak, the LA Kings hope to get a spark on Wednesday night when Brendan Lemieux makes his debut with the club.
The LA Kings are in a less-than-ideal situation these days. Having lost six of their seven games and just scoring 12 goals over that span, the silver-and-black are struggling right now, and they’re not doing themselves any favors as far as their playoff hopes go. They will hope to get back on track on Wednesday night and will hope to do so with the help of the newest King, Brendan Lemieux.
Acquired from the New York Rangers back on Mar 27, Lemieux will make his anticipated LA Kings debut against the Arizona Coyotes as the Denver native will look to get his team back in the win column.
Following team practice on Wednesday, Lemieux spoke with the media about his debut and what kind of first impressions he’s hoping to make.
“I think, just imposing my game, just playing my game,” the 25-year-old said. “I don’t need to try to do too much. I’ve played in this league long enough to know what I need to do to have success, and I think I’m here for a reason, and that’s just to play my game. They don’t expect anything different from me.”
One area, in particular, the former Ranger has excelled at in recent years has been his ability to draw penalties. While the LA Kings’ power play may have been struggling as of late, a knack for drawing penalties is nonetheless an invaluable skill — one the newest King is determined to continue.
“Yeah, definitely,” Lemieux said. “I wouldn’t say maybe drawing penalties, but it’s more just playing in hard areas and pushing [opponents] to make mistakes. So, in that, you do draw penalties. That is a big, key piece of my game. Putting my team on the power play is important, and I definitely try to put myself in a position to make it harder on them, make them pull me, push me, take shots, and that’s been part of my game since before I can remember.”
Lemieux then touched on the LA Kings’ system and their structure and how he finds it so far.
“Very different structure than I played in New York,” the winger admitted. “I think [the LA Kings’ system] suits my game really well. I’m just excited. It’s going to be fun to play a little more passive in the neutral zone and a very well-structured team. Obviously, very well-coached, and it’s a really exciting, veteran group that I’m just really– you know, a lot of young kids but, like I said, that core, veteran group that’s been here for a long time and has had a lot of success and I’m just excited to be a part of it and play my game, help get some wins here and make a push.”
While he may not be a cure for his new team’s offensive woes — two goals and five assists in 31 games this season — Brendan Lemieux can certainly deliver in other ways. We will see just how well the 25-year-old will fit in with his new team beginning on Wednesday night.
It is also worth noting that with Lemieux entered into the LA Kings lineup, Gabe Vilardi will be a healthy scratch.