Trevor Lewis is a former first round draft pick. And NHL General Managers usually don’t use their top selection on a forward who is going to play a largely defensive role. Guys going that early in the draft are typically snipers.
Like many young prospects though, Lewis just wanted to play in the big leagues. So, he had no problem with the role former Kings head coach Terry Murray asked him to take on.
In fact, it was just two season ago that Lewis became a full time NHL player, first as a center and more recently at right wing. Statistically though, he scored just three goals in each of the last two seasons - a far cry from his 20 goals in Manchester or 29 in the OHL.
“Goals always help your confidence,” Lewis told MayorsManor. “But, I think my responsibility is more penalty killing, taking care of the defensive zone, being a smart player and an energy player. A goal would definitely be nice. Our line needs to score goals and chip in, and getting on the score sheet is always nice.”
For tonight’s game Lewis has been moved from the third line – separated from his usual center, Jarret Stoll - down to the fourth line. It’s one of the many changes coach Darryl Sutter has tried over the last few weeks, perpetually searching for something to get his team headed in the right direction.
“I think we kind of needed a spark, and we needed to find a little bit of chemistry,” Lewis said of the many recent changes. “But, w’re starting to get back to our game and playing the game the way we know how.”
As for center compared to wing, Lewis doens’t see much of an advantage one way or the other.
“If Darryl wants me at center, I can play there,” he said. “But I think I’m fine on the wing. I think a lot of people just look at points and stats. I know that’s not really my game. I can chip in every now and again, but I think as long as I play hard and I play smart, I’m on my game.”
Still, a goal would help with confidence, right?
“Definitely,” Lewis said with a smile.
Meanwhile Dustin Penner, continues to man a search of his own - looking for the player he was at the end of the last season.
Also goalless on the season, the 6-foot-4 left wing is currently just happy to not be listed as a healthy scratch - like he was for a long stretch earlier this season.
“Obviously you’ve got to get points,” Penner began to explain. “For anyone, it breeds confidence. Playing with guys that are typically known as more role players – you know, Stollie and Lewey, they kill penalties and are out there in big situations. Both can take draws and are good skaters, so they’re easy to read. I know where they’re going to put pucks and if I get pucks on my stick and control them, maybe I can get confidence by making plays.”
He made several of those plays last week, especially in the game vs. the Blues – where he did a lot of the work to set up a goal by Slava Voynov.
However, a goal of his own could really help boost that confidence he was talking about.
“I would really like to score,” Penner simplistically and succinctly said.
Regardless, his mental state has improved from where it was during that stretch of inactivity.
“Yeah, I’m better than I was,” said Penner.
Now, removing that goose-egg from the goal column is next on the agenda for both players.
It would help Penner and Lewis, for sure. But, it could also aid the Kings’ struggling offense.
Expect a more motivated Penner tonight vs. the Oilers too. He wasn’t happy about being a healthy scratch when the two teams met a few weeks ago.
So, maybe – just maybe – tonight will be his night.
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