Kings’ Brendan Lemieux: “Excited and Hopeful” for Playoff Push

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 12: Brendan Lemieux #48 of the Los Angeles Kings during warm up before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Staples Center on April 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 12: Brendan Lemieux #48 of the Los Angeles Kings during warm up before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Staples Center on April 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Six games in, Brendan Lemieux’s tenure with the LA Kings thus far has been exciting thus far. He only hopes that will continue with his club’s playoff push.

When he was acquired by the LA Kings on Mar. 27, Brendan Lemieux‘s arrival was met with curiosity. After all, why would a team whose roster — and prospect pool — as deep as the Kings be interested in adding another player to the mix?

Six games into his tenure with the Kings, though, Brendan Lemieux has done his best to answer that question.

Known mainly for his grit, Lemieux has made his mark physically for the silver-and-black with 14 hits thus far and while he only has one assist to his name with the Kings, opponents nonetheless are privy to stay alert when the Denver native is on the ice.

For those concerned about Lemieux’s lack of offensive production, though, it is important to note that the 25-year-old’s comfort level in Los Angeles has been a gradual one. After all, due to NHL protocol for players with new teams, Lemieux had to wait 11 days before making his Kings’ debut — an understandable situation but a less-than-ideal one nonetheless.

“It was a challenge, but I’m a professional and that’s what we’re asked,” Lemieux noted. “There [have] been plenty of guys that have been out for longer periods than I was out, so [I’m] fortunate to have my health and have had it, and yeah.”

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While he admitted that this has been the smoothest of years, Brendan Lemieux is nonetheless appreciative of the challenges he has faced. His patience and perspective are both refreshing aspects of the enforcer’s personality — something he uses to make himself a better player.

“It’s been a challenging year for me, you know, individually at times but that’s what makes you a better player in the long run,” Lemieux observed. “I’m enjoying the process of getting better every day and working here with our group. It’s an exciting young group and I’m really happy to be part of it.”

In addition to his talent, Lemieux has also shown what a first-class competitor he is.

En route to his team’s victory vs. Anaheim on Tuesday, Lemieux dropped the gloves with Ducks enforcer Josh Manson. The end result saw the latter be dazed and Lemieux physically supporting his opponent while waving over medical staff to observe Manson.

Since making his debut with the Kings on Apr. 7, Lemieux has enjoyed a gradual increase in his contributions to the team as well as his comfort level as a whole.

“I think it’s taken some time to get comfortable with the structure,” the newest King said. “It’s a big change from what I played in New York but I’m enjoying the process of it and I’m learning a lot.”

While change can certainly be met with its share of reticence, Lemieux has embraced the change he’s experienced from Broadway to Hollywood. In fact, he’s enjoying it.

“It’s been fun,” beamed the former Barrie Colt. “We’re looking to make a push here, so we’re all really excited and hopeful in our dressing room and, yeah.”

While he may only be 25, Brendan Lemieux is, for all intents and purposes, a hockey lifer.

A second-generation NHLer, Lemieux took some time to reflect on the lessons he learned from his father, Claude, about life in the NHL.

As for picking his favorite lesson?

“Gosh, that’s tough,” the younger Lemieux admitted. “My dad’s my agent still. He’s obviously my dad and we talk almost after every game. So, I could go on and on.”

The former New York Ranger, however, did point out a valuable lesson from his father.

“I think, ‘Never too high, never too low,’ is probably my favorite piece of advice in a long season,'” the left-winger added. “This year is shorter, I guess, but there’s a lot of ups and downs and just staying even-keel, I think, is the most important one that I’ve found over the years.”

Speaking of Claude, hopefully, he will have some pertinent advice for his son should the LA Kings qualify for this year’s postseason. After all, Claude is a four-time Stanley Cup winner with a Conn Smythe Trophy to his name. The elder Lemieux is even tied for the third-most game-winning playoff goals in NHL history with 19.

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Whether or not any of that rubs off on the younger Lemieux remains to be seen for another time. Until then, Brendan Lemieux is poised to do whatever he can to help the LA Kings squeak into the playoffs and whatever the challenge, he’s ready to face it, as are all of the players who don the silver-and-black.