Dustin Penner‘s trials and tribulations have certainly been well documented in Los Angeles. However, he may be turning a corner with the help of linemates Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis. Lately, they’ve been showing signs of good chemistry and, more importantly, have been productive offensively. For Penner, his goal last night gave him goals in back-to-back games – something he hadn’t done in his 74 games played since being acquired by the Kings late last February. After the game, he shared the following comments…
On scoring vs. the Sharks and his recent play – “Yeah, it does (feel good), it’s been a while – whew! I think it’s just a byproduct of how the team’s been playing. I think every line is working in unison so well together. Me, Stolly and Lewie are reading each other so well too. We’re playing really well defensively. And the ‘D’ have managed to step up their game from where they were – they’ve been playing great all year, so they’ve elevated from that. They’re getting pucks in good areas for us, getting shots through, we’re breaking out of our zone easily and they’re keeping pucks in. It becomes very suffocating for the opposition when we’re always in their zone.”
Earlier in the year, he had a tendency to follow up a great game or two with a few poor ones. So, did he do anything differently to maintain his focus coming into last night – “It’s a mindset that coach Sutter helped bring to the team. I think everybody has picked up their game. For me personally though, I think it’s just a realization of what I need to do to be more consistent to grow as an individual and as a person – being able to get yourself ready every game and have each effort be up to what the coach’s standards are. He’s been very hard on everybody, in the sense of demanding a lot. I think it’s pushed everybody to new heights.”
On his linemates and how they’ve helped him recently – “I think Lewis has grown tremendously, as a player, since last year – from what I saw when I got here. The was he’s playing, the deft little plays he’s making. He’s a guy who’s a natural centerman, he was playing there more last year. Now, he’s jumped to the wing and he’s been playing great. Stolly, he’s always been solid. He’s great on faceoffs, he can play outside of the game – power play, penalty kill, last few minutes, etc. He’s the glue that holds that line together. I think we all bring different elements to the ice when we’re out there together. And we’re playing really well off of each other right now.”
We’ll have more from our exclusive chat with Penner on tonight’s MayorsManor LIVE show. You can tune-in and listen right here staring at 8pm PST.