For the better part of the last decade, the Los Angeles Kings have been known for their defensive style of play. That’s the way former head coach Darryl Sutter liked to run things. Now, under new head coach John Stevens, things have changed quite a bit. The team still prides itself on playing good defensive hockey, but they also haven’t been shy about making plays at the other end of the rink. Heading into Thursday’s game in Montreal, the Kings find themselves tied for fifth in the league in goals scored with 32 (their 19 goals against is tied for top spot). By comparison, the Kings were 25th in goals last season, 14th the previous year and 20th the year before that. There’s no doubt that Stevens’ philosophy has helped the Kings put the puck in the net. The other thing he’s done, is rely on key players-like Dustin Brown– that may have fallen out of favor with Sutter. Brown’s resurgence this season has been nothing short of remarkable. Over the last four years, the 32-year-old finished with 27. 27, 28 and 36 points , which is a significant decrease for a one-time 30-goal scorer and four-time 20-goal scorer. Things got so bad for him that Sutter decided to strip him of the captaincy during the 2016 off-season. This year, playing on a line with Anze Kopitar, not only has he found his confidence, he’s also rediscovered his scoring touch. In just nine games, he’s already put up 11 points. “I think there’s just been a little more focus on the scoring aspect,” Brown said after the team’s morning skate in Montreal on Thursday. “We’ve struggled to score. It wasn’t really big, eye-opening changes. It was more of a mindset change and just thinking about the game a little bit differently.
Kings’ decision to make Dustin Brown ‘important guy’ paying off
Pro Hockey Talk | Oct 27