Dustin Brown and the Kings are in "zombie mode" - LA Kings Insider

The Kings’ first flight north to San Jose was on April 16. Game 7 against the Sharks took place exactly one month ago today, and as of tomorrow two weeks will have elapsed since the team traveled to Chicago for the first time.

As Darryl Sutter noted yesterday, it’s not only the physical grind that can wear on teams, it’s the mental challenges – and the Kings appear to have the experience necessary to combat any natural misdirection of focus that comes with an extended playoff run.

“It’s not just say, ‘Let’s have energy.’ If we did that in this room, and we said that – that’s not the way it works,” Sutter said yesterday. “The playoffs, the farther you go, it’s a mental battle. You look at the teams that are still playing, we’re seven weeks past teams that haven’t done nothing, that played their last games. That’s where your experience and your leadership and your being able to play through injury and being able to set that stuff aside to try and give a quality performance [comes into play].”

Speaking of “mental” challenges, forgive Dustin Brown for thinking of brains – those juicy, delicious brains.

“I think it’s kind of hard to explain. But at this point in the year you’re in a bit of a zombie mode, to put it best,” he said. “When it comes down to it, you’re really focused at the same time. It’s kind of an oxymoron, but it’s one of those things where it’s definitely a grind physically and emotionally and mentally. But when push comes to shove, guys are ready to play at this time of year.”

Dustin Brown, on the team’s preferred style of play:
Puck management, the key to our game is checking their top players, or checking all their players, and controlling the puck and making good decisions with the puck. When we do that, our style of play the – the grind, the cycling, all of that stuff – it allows us to do that. If we don’t manage the puck, turn the puck over, then it allows them to play the game they want to play.

Brown, on whether playing with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik has affected his play:
It just allows me to do my thing really. With those two guys, Kopi especially with the puck possession, it just allows me to drive the net and get to the net. As a result, you score goals.


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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

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.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

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


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.

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.