Maybe it’s because he plays on the West Coast. Or that prior to last week, the Los Angeles Kings had never won a Stanley Cup. Or that he doesn’t play a flashy game.
But throughout the Kings’ historic playoff run and the hoisting of the first Stanley Cup in the 45 year history of the LA Kings, Dustin Brown has finally started to get the love that he’s lacked as captain of the Kings.
As far as the gentlemen that sport a ‘C’ in the NHL go, Dustin Brown tends to fly under the radar, and that’s been the case since he took over as captain in 2008. He’s not a hulking defenseman like Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber or a scoring machine like Henrik Sedin.
Brown’s game is as physical as you will find from a big name in the National Hockey League. Despite playing with some elite offensive talent over the past couple of seasons, he’s not the type of guy that is going to put up huge scoring numbers. He’ll put up some points, sure, but where Brown earns his paycheck is along the boards.
Brown had 293 hits for the Kings this year, second in the NHL. His 54 points are also quite impressive, given the slow start that both he and the Kings had.
Around the trade deadline, there were rumblings that the Kings were shopping their captain, a piece that many teams would jump on the opportunity to acquire. Brown responded by stepping up his game, with a hat trick in his first game since the rumors started to emerge, against the Chicago Blackhawks.
His performance in the postseason is one that left a stamp on the history of this club. He was an absolute force in each of the first three rounds for the Kings, particularly against the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes. As the Kings clinched the Stanley Cup win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 6, Brown posted three points in the 6-1 romp. He finished with 20 points in the playoffs, tied for the best in the postseason with Anze Kopitar.
There’s no questioning what Dustin Brown means to the Kings franchise. He’s the leader of this team and a centerpiece of what they hope is a lasting contender in Hollywood. The Cup win should help the rest of the league become aware of how big time of a player Dustin Brown is and help him to emerge from the shadow of some of the bigger name guys wearing the ‘C’ around the league.