As the United States’ Olympic dream gradually turned into a nightmare, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown spent more and more time warming the bench.
With America losing to Canada 1-0 in the semifinals, Brown logged just 1:05 minutes in the third period. It didn’t get better for him in the United States’ 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game as he logged just 4:48 minutes in total, with 1:43 minutes of that coming in the final two frames.
So why was Brown’s role diminished after he logged around 10-15 minutes in each of America’s previous contests?
“We were going with players we thought could score a goal,” U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma said, per Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski.
Certainly Brown isn’t a pure goal scorer, but neither are Ryan Callahan or David Backes, who roughly tripled his ice time against Finland. In fact Brown, who had an ‘A’ on his jersey, finished dead last in playing time for the United States in its final contest of the 2014 Winter Games.
“I’m a player, he’s a coach. That’s how it works.”
Unfortunately for him, this isn’t an isolated incident. After recording at least 20 goals and 50 points in five straight seasons before the shortened campaign, Brown has just 16 points in 58 contests in 2013-14 and has seen his playing time with the Kings dip as well.
There’s still time for him to end his season on a high note and with the Kings still battling for a playoff spot, they could certainly use the boost.