Dustin Penner was my planned feature this week for LAKings.com for this week but, well, that got blown out of the water by another little story that took place. It’s still a fairly interesting note though, so I’ll share it here. This is part of an interview I did with Penner on Monday, when he was coming off a couple solid games. It’s certainly fair to say that Penner is in the middle of his best stretch of play with the Kings, but I thought it was interesting how he analyzed his recent stretch. Penner didn’t pat himself on the back, or seek praise. Rather, he said he can do more. If you’re a Kings fan, that’s good news, because Penner’s production will be a major reason why the Kings either do or don’t turn things around this season.

PENNER: “The last couple games would be my starting point. I wouldn’t want to have a worse game than that. I think I can still build on that, but that kind of game should be easy to call upon for me. That’s the goal.’’

Question: After last season, and the summer and the early-season injuries, it’s been a long road though…

PENNER: “I’ve been at that level before, and higher. It’s just a matter of maintaining it. It’s a mindset. The work during the summer helped, but the (early-season groin) injury kind of inhibited that. Those three weeks (with the hand injury) were kind of a blessing in disguise. The broken knuckle gave my lower body time to heal.’’

Question: You mentioned mindset there. Is that what it is? Is it more about mindset than physical aspects?

PENNER: “Before, in Edmonton, I was more of the main guy looked upon there. Here, you’ve got so many guys that you maybe find yourself taking a back seat to some of these other guys, and that kind of inhibits you from playing your own game. It’s an overall thing. It encompasses everything, from the mindset to the conditioning, which I also worked on in the offseason. I had a good season, which was when the injuries started happening. For me, it is a mindset, just getting to that level and playing with those guys, and not being a spectator.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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