Dustin Brown on engineering a winning culture - LA Kings Insider

By the third round of the National Hockey League playoffs, some players grow weary of locker room press scrums, and with the raised importance of each passing game are occasionally inclined to dilute their own opinions as a means of expeditiously fulfilling their media obligations.

And then there is captain Dustin Brown, who listens and thoughtfully prepares a response to each question asked of him before offering an honest, thorough response in which multiple angles are addressed. There is never any artifice, pretension or damage control in his replies – though such humility is naturally inherent in many hockey players.

On Thursday, he articulated the evolution of the team culture and ways in which the Kings have engineered wins between the 2012 and 2013 postseasons.

On Dean Lombardi’s assertion that the team is no longer “learning to win” and this season has been about “learning to deal with success”:
“It’s a pretty different feeling in the room as players, and I think around the league about us. And it’s easy – I shouldn’t say ‘it’s easy’ – but it’s different coming in and winning your first and surprising everyone. I mean, everyone had us I think losing every round pretty much. A lot of people had us losing every round. Now that we have the target on our back and we have the experience of last year, we’re not going to catch anybody by surprise with that. But it’s learning how to do it again. It’s a whole other animal. Winning it once is hard. Winning it a second time becomes harder once you do it.”

On what it takes to win for a second time:
“It’s just dealing with adversity, I think. Being down two-nothing in St. Louis, we responded well in that series. And then going into a Game 7, I thought we had a really good game – same thing against San Jose. It’s just little things. I think at the end of the day, though, for this group, it’s that we’ve been in the trench hole together for a long time. It’s not like we were all thrown together last year and did something great. The majority of our guys have been together for four or five years, and that goes a long way in building the trust and the bonds that you need to have to deal with the really hard parts of the game.”

On finding different ways to win in the postseason:
“I mean, I guess the best way to put it is we kind of screwed ourselves doing what we did last year because that set the standard, right? I think it was unrealistic looking back on it to think we could do that again, but I think the more important thing is exactly that. We’re finding different ways to win. I think last year we had it very similar in the sense that we had different guys step up at different times, and…the strength of our team is that it’s not Kopi or Dewey that have to do it every night. We have different guys that can step up to the plate at different times. And that’s a huge part of our team, but I think the way in which we’re winning – I mean, last year was a lot different. We had complete control of every series, every game from start to finish, it seemed like. I mean, we’ve come from behind I don’t know how many times, at least to my knowledge, to win games. Winning games – tight, tight games – you just kind of go through it. When you’re going through it you’re not thinking about it, but it’s just stuff you pick up along the way.”

On his interpretation of Jonathan Toews being a “quiet leader”:
“I mean, I don’t know. That’s what they say, right? He definitely is probably the heart and soul of that team…Like I said, for me, with him it’s about his compete level. It’s very similar to Zach Parise in the sense that [it’s] a very high skill level, but their compete might be higher than their skill, and that doesn’t happen very often with those high-end skill guys. So that’s the challenge, right?”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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


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.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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


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.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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


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.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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


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.