Player evaluation: Brown
This season: 82 games, 28 goals, 29 assists, 67 penalty minutes, 19:22 average ice time.
The good: Brown made modest improvements in goals and points over the previous season, but showed something rarely seen before: the ability to carry the team on his back for long stretches. In a 12-game stretch in December, Brown had seven goals and 12 assists. Then in late March and April, around the time of Anze Kopitar’s injury, Brown had three consecutive multipoint games and finished the season with nine points in his last nine games. Per usual, Brown gave 100-percent effort in every game and regularly led the Kings in both shots on goal and hits. A lead-by-example captain, Brown has total respect in the locker room.
The bad: The flip side of Brown’s scoring bursts is his tendency to go cold for long stretches. Brown had one eight-game stretch without a goal and one 11-game stretch without a goal. That can happen to the best of players, but throughout this career, Brown has shown the tendency to start pressing, in all aspects of his game, when the scoring runs dry for a stretch. He’s never guilty of a lack of effort, but sometimes excessive effort can lead to a lack of productive play.
Going forward: Brown seems to have settled in nicely as a second-line winger. At age 26, he has probably showed what he is: a 25-to-30-goal scorer, and given Brown’s other contributions, there’s nothing at all wrong with that. Brown does need to contribute more on the power play. His 15 power-play points this season marked his lowest total since 2005-06, his first full NHL season. Brown has the proper temperament and attitude to be a team leader. A little more consistency on the ice will take him a long way.