Penner in a reflective mood after Kings 5-2 win over the Ducks

Dustin Penner Stanley Cup Final 2012 KingsThe road of Dustin Penner’s life has rarely been straight ahead. Instead, it’s often been filled with hairpin turns and is more like driving without a map – maybe even blindfolded.

He was an undrafted player who has gone on to win a pair of Stanley Cups with two different teams.

Even so, you still never know what to expect.

Thus, his explanation for playing an especially strong game against the Ducks on Monday – one where he had three shots, three hits and, most importantly, a goal – was, well, classic Penner.

“I had Pizza Hut last night, so…”

Ah yes, it looks like with a breakfast endorsement from IHOP already locked up, he’s now moved on to securing a dinner sponsor.

In the past, Penner has talked about finding extra motivation when playing his former team. In fact, when he first came to LA he shared stories of the ‘Penner Cup’ – a trophy the Oliers used to play for when matched up with the Ducks.

Is all that behind him or was his performance on Monday perhaps inspired by the thought of once again sticking it to his old club?

“There’s no motivation like that,” Penner shared with MayorsManor after the game. “It’s all for myself, and proving myself once again. I’ve reached the ripe old age of 30 now, and I have a different outlook on life and my profession. I don’t want to take any day that I can get paid playing the game I love for granted. So you know, more so than before when you’re trying to make your way and earn your place in the league, now I’m playing for the guy beside me. Because you see guys that you’ve played with, like Ethan Morrow last year – that was his last year – and you start getting nostalgic about your place in the NHL. I think as you get older, guys like Dewey don’t realize it yet, but you have to appreciate every day you’re able to come to the rink and have that camaraderie with these guys that will last a lifetime.”

As for the game itself, a little luck may have played as much of a role as hard work.

“I think it was a pretty even game,” Penner explained. “We were more opportunistic, but you know it’s always a close game when you play the Ducks. I think one of the turning points is when Perry hit the cross bar, it rung right out and that would have been a tough one to come back from. That’s usually when a team cinches down a two-goal lead, so we got fortunate there and we capitalized on our lucky break. It’s big to win it without going into overtime. It was a two-point game, we won those two points and it was a division game. So it’s almost worth four.”

Winners of four straight, Penner likes where the Kings are at the moment.

“I think we’re on a steady climb to where we want to be,” he remarked. “It started in the game where we lost to Detroit. And maybe there was a couple bumps in the road, but for the most part we’ve had a steady climb to where we are now.”

As for his personal journey this season, he says there isn’t anybody in particular that’s had his ear – leading one to believe it’s been more self discovery than anything else.

“It was a tough summer,” Penner shared, referencing his off-season wrist surgery among many other things. “I think as you get older the game gets a bit more mental, obviously the rubber band doesn’t snap back as quick. But for me, I’ve had to deal with being a healthy scratch and more different media scrutiny than most. Never getting too high or too low is the key for me. It’s only one game and one goal. That can all change in a matter of moments. That can all change pretty quickly, so you have to have that nervous energy directed in the right way.”

Yes, it was a slightly different Dustin Penner as he sat in the locker room Monday night.

It was just the two of us, all other players had gone to the shower. Yet, the big left wing was still thinking, still reflecting and still wearing his heart on his sleeve.

“I think that you just mature at different levels (and) different stages as you get older. When you’ve been through a lot, my life professionally and personally, that’s made me relish the opportunity I’ve had here.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Coach Darryl Sutter repsonds to Penner’s reflective mood

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please include a link to www.MayorsManor.com

Recent Articles

Stars Kings Nov 2014 hockey NHL

In the Room: Kings and Stars talk 5-4 win by Dallas

Following the Kings wild 5-4 loss to the host Dallas Stars on Saturday night, here is what was being said in both locker rooms: Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter on the team’s play in the first period: “I think we both had great opportunities in the first period. They scored on theirs and we didn’t. [...]

Stars Dallas NHL hockey

Puck Probability: Odds for Kings at Stars, November 22

With the Kings set to complete their three-game season series with the Stars in Dallas on Saturday night, we have our first return guest here on the Puck Probability series. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News was so much fan last time around, he’s back to help us close out the set between these [...]

Seguin Stars

Things You May Not Know: Kings-Stars Finale Edition

This is it. In just about a three-week span, the Kings and Stars will have completed their three-game season series. Dallas, fresh off their Friday trade with the Sharks – where they sent defenseman Brenden Dillon to San Jose in exchange for defenseman Jason Demers and a third-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft – [...]

Major News Items

Zykov NHL LA Kings

LA Kings 2014-15 Prospect Rankings: The Coveted Top 5

With the Honorable Mentions and Nos. 6-10 prospects previously revealed in other articles, we’re now prepared to share the final five players making up the latest edition of our L.A. Kings Top 10 Prospect Rankings. The … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Comments

  1. great read.

  2. Penner, since Calgary, has played his best game in a kings uniform. Even better than the playoffs. Glad to see a goal come out of it. We have a much better chance of winning when penner gets that 3rd line going.

  3. Penner. Huge Heart. I’d take a guy like him on my team any day.