The Los Angeles Kings pay Dustin Brown to do more than just score goals.
He’s one of the top lead-by-example captains in the NHL, a top hitter in the league and an outstanding leader both on and off the ice. Of course if he didn’t have some offensive capability he probably wouldn’t be wearing the C, wouldn’t be getting top-six minutes and wouldn’t have signed an eight-year contract extension worth $47 million.
Brown can score some goals. It’s just that he isn’t right now.
He has two tallies so far this season—both of which came on October 9 against the Ottawa Senators. That’s a 10-game scoring drought, and a trend that Brown needs to fix immediately. If Jeff Carter wasn’t hurt and was out on the ice supplying the goals from the second line, then maybe Brown gets more time to turn his season around.
Carter is going to spend some time on the IR though, and while there isn’t a timetable for his return, Brown is one of the guys that will need to step up for the Kings.
He’s on pace for 12 goals and 35 points through an 82-game season right now. That would be his lowest goal total since 2005-06, and would only be a few points ahead of the totals that he set during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign.
In short, Brown needs to find a way to be better. The Kings offense as a whole needs to find a way to improve, but there isn’t a better option to lead them out of the dark than the captain.