The three biggest surprises of the LA Kings season

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
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LA Kings Dustin Brown
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Surprise number one: Dustin Brown returns to form

For most NHL players, being 36 years old means you are already retired or getting ready to retire — but not Dustin Brown. The Ithaca, New York, native has aged like one of the fine wines produced near his hometown. His play this season proved that Brown is not yet ready to ride off into the sunset just yet.

Brown would understandably not be expected to lead the LA Kings in any offensive categories at this stage in his career, however, Brown looked like he was ten years younger this season. Sure, playing in his usual first-line right-wing spot with superstar center Anze Kopitar helped, but consider the team categories that Brown either led or was near the top in.

  • Overall goals scored team rank: 1st
  • Power play goals scored team rank: 1st
  • Shots taken team rank: 1st
  • Hits team rank: 4th

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I’m normally not a big analytics guy, but even I can use an analytics tool to prove just how good Brown was. His CorsiFor percentage was 52.4%, which meant the Kings had more possession of the puck than they did not. Now consider they had a team CorsiFor average of 48.1%, making Brown’s number even more impressive.

Has Dustin Brown forced the LA Kings to protect him in the upcoming Seattle expansion draft?