After today’s morning skate, Dustin Penner peeled the tape off his shin pads, rolled it into a large ball and, as hockey players are wont to do, aimed for the nearest trash can a few feet away. Penner’s shot deflected off a nearby shelf into into the net/receptacle. “Finally got a break,” Penner said with a grin. So, Penner was able to maintain a sense of humor, even though he knew why reporters were hovering around his locker. Penner spoke before Terry Murray announced the Kings’ lineup for Game 5, so when asked if he was playing tonight, Penner could only offer a shrug and an, “I think so.” Here’s what Penner said about being dropped to the fourth line, his recent struggles and the Kings’ chances in the series…
PENNER: “I think everybody is frustrated. … I think I’m over-thinking a lot, with a new team. Just not going out there and playing the game that got me where I am.”
Question: Is the Kings’ system that much different than what you were used to?
PENNER: “Maybe. I don’t know. It’s tough to say. I think it’s a different defensive scheme. We’re a younger team — not by much — but in Edmonton it’s just a different style of play. But that’s not an excuse.”
Question: What has to change in order for the team to get things turned around?
PENNER: “I think we’ve got to get down the goals against. Twelve in two games isn’t going to win you a lot of games, let alone series. Our special teams has been pretty good, especially our PK. If that keeps going, and we keep them off the score sheet, I think we have a pretty good chance.”