The season opener for the Los Angeles Kings came and went, and while they did manage to emerge victorious, it wasn’t due to a heavy contribution from their captain. In fact, just as it was for much of last year’s postseason, it was a quiet night for Dustin Brown.
Brown struggled mightily during last year’s playoffs, and much was made about the lack of offense the team received from their captain, along with Anze Kopitar, en route to being eliminated by the eventual champions in the Western Conference Finals.
Brown’s first game, in which the Kings knocked off the Minnesota Wild by way of a shootout, featured no points, an even rating, and just one hit. He wasn’t extremely noticeable out on the ice, which is not good news for a Kings team that needs him to have a big start.
Much of the reason for his playoff struggles have been attributed to injury. He clearly wasn’t healthy. Nonetheless, the Kings need Brown to rebound and get off to a fast start, especially after signing him to a massive extension during the offseason.
Brown isn’t one of the captains in the league that’s going to light up the stat sheet on a given night. But for this Kings club, he’s a regular source of goal scoring, having tallied at least 20 in five seasons prior to last year’s shortened season, when he potted 18.
In order to avoid a slow start like they’ve experienced the last couple of years, particularly offensively, the Kings need Dustin Brown to come up big, and to do it quick. It won’t spell doom for them if he doesn’t, but having Brown firing on all cylinders makes this an even more dangerous team as the season wears on.