Earlier today we looked at famous old sayings about the importance of defense in team sports.
Then tonight, Dustin Brown put ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’ front and center.
In his pre-game interview on MayorsManor the Kings’ captain said “we need him to contribute more offensively” when talking about his new linemate, Trevor Lewis.
The rookie center responded by providing two beautiful assists on Brown’s pair of goals against the Oilers – which must have been encouraging for Lewis, who felt he needed to be “a little bit more of a creative player” prior to the game. So far, he’s backing up his words.
Ryan Smyth picked up an additional assist on the first goal, giving him points in three straight games – the first time he’s done that since early February. Encouraging.
(Oh yeah, Brown was also the guy Kings fans voted as most likely to ‘seize the opportunity’ in today’s poll – results here)
Given the injuries to Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, the above trio will get most of the post-game attention. However, the play of Jonathan Bernier shouldn’t be overlooked. He stopped all 32 shots, posted his third shutout of the season and pushed his record to 7-1-3 in his last 11 starts.
On the defensive side of things, coach Terry Murray recently said he’s been impressed with Alec Martinez all season (article here) and called him a “contributing player every game.” Additional life was breathed into those words when the rookie blueliner took five shots (!) in the first period.
Even while mired in last place, the Oilers’ young guns have been the talk of the NHL this season. However, it was a trio of Kings newbies that would have been responsible for dubbing this game ‘The Rise of the Rookies.’
And a final note…the win gave the Kings a sweep of their four-game series this season, marking the first time since the two teams began playing each other in 1979-80 that the Kings have been able to accomplish such a feat.
It’s just the latest in a string of firsts for the Kings, all while they continue inching closer to the playoffs.
Check out the highlights…