Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown has never been an elite scorer, but for years he’s been a consistent producer. Before the shortened campaign, he recorded between 46 and 60 points for six straight seasons while still playing a physical game.
The 2013-14 campaign has been an exception though. While he’s still throwing his body around, he has just 13 points in 41 contests. That puts him on pace to have his least productive season since 2003-04 when he played in just 31 games as a rookie.
“I could be a (heck) of a lot better,” Brown conceded to LA Kings Insider.
His struggles has led to him dropping from his typical 19 to 20 minutes per contest to an average of just 16:52 minutes this season. He only ended up logging 13:04 minutes against St. Louis on Thursday.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter noted that Brown isn’t playing as aggressively along the walls or to the net lately. For the most part, his drop off has been mitigated by the fact that Los Angeles is having a great season anyways, but after losing five straight games, this would be an ideal time for Brown to step up.
Los Angeles will face Vancouver tonight.
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”