18 April 2019

All-Star spotlight shines on Dustin Brown



With Dustin Brown’s inclusion into the 57th NHL All-Star game in Montreal, some heads snapped around.  Others quietly nodded and are telling anyone who will listen that the young right-winger must have been selected because Los Angeles needed to have an entry.  That just simply is not the case.


I applaud the NHL’s selection process, if only for the fact that a player with Brown’s dynamic should have a place and respect that is honoured with the best in the game.  Future inductee Rob Blake and Hall-of-Famer Luc Robitaille have heaped praise on the youngest captain in Kings’ franchise history.  But some of the most endearing sentiments come from those who have faced him in opposition.  Red Wings’ Head Coach Mike Babcock stated, "A lot of your physical guys aren't good players and never get on the ice. This is a guy who plays 22 minutes against your best guys. You've got to keep your head up because he's always on the hunt."


Detractors will whine about how Brown is a -7 and that his 28 points have him tied with Alexander Frolov for second in team scoring.  This ranks them both behind last year’s All-Star centre, Anze Kopitar.  What they fail to recognize is that Brown brings a multi-faceted game to the table and does so for a last place club.  Brown finishes bone-disintegrating hits more than any other forward in the league, save Milan Lucuc.  Interestingly, an average of 4.3 shots-per-game places Brown third in the entire NHL, behind only Alexander Ovechkin (6.5) and Jeff Carter (4.6).  Granted, the rugged forward should be looking to improve on his 7.9% shot success, but there is little that you can pick apart in his game.  Considering that Brown’s 17 goals are tied for second on the Kings and his three game-winners lead the team, well, there is not much of an argument left.  Determination is one of his calling cards.


Dustin’s skill-set is the envy of many a general manager around the NHL.  A young captain with exemplary work ethic and a forthright demeanor; the Ithaca, NY native possesses a finely-tuned wrist-shot and is a great presence in front of goalies during the power-play.  The twenty-four year-old winger’s fore-checking makes defenseman pay for slip-ups, with a punishing body check, the puck, momentum, or all three.  The intangible of leadership and his versatility make Brown the ideal line-mate for any forward, and the basis of a winning attitude going forward.


12 January 2009

Robin Keith Thompson

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