Dustin Penner and the Compounding Pressure

Stanley Cup Finals his rookie season – pressure.

Playing under the weight of signing a five-year free agent contract in Edmonton – Pressure.

Being traded by the last place Oilers to the playoff bound Kings for three assets at the NHL Trade Deadline – PRESSURE. (and slightly presumptuous on the playoffs)

Point is, pressure is nothing new for Dustin Penner.

Then, early last week he lost his right wing, Justin Williams. A few days later, his center, Anze Kopitar.

Already part of an anemic offense, how much more burden will the injuries add to the pressure weighing on his broad shoulders?

“Sure, there will be more pressure, more opportunity I’d say – not meaning that in a negative or positive way. Now it’s up to everybody,” said Penner.  “Out of the 45 minutes of ice time we lost between those two guys, that’s spread over the rest of the team now. So, everybody gets more minutes and more of a chance to succeed and contribute on a more consistent basis. For myself, I’ll probably see a bump in minutes and I have to use them appropriately so that we can win these games.”

Meanwhile, rookie Trevor Lewis hasn’t been in the NHL long enough to experience the same pressures Penner has.  However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be under a little more stress given his new second-line center role…

“Obviously, I’m going to get a little more ice time and to play with some different players,” said Lewis.  “But, I just need to stick to the same things I’ve been doing and maybe be a little bit more of a creative player. It will come naturally, hopefully.”

For coach Terry Murray and the Kings – yes, hopefully.

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