Dustin Brown arrived in Denver yesterday, though he wasn’t on the team plane heading east from Los Angeles. He was traveling from the junction point of Newark Airport, where he had arrived after catching an NHL charter with other Olympians from Sochi, Russia.
Though the United States finished a disappointing fourth in the men’s tournament, Brown was still able to view the competition in a mostly positive light.
“The Olympic experience was great,” he said. “We just wanted to perform better.”
He didn’t profess to being jetlagged on Tuesday, and acknowledged that it was good to jump right into a Kings practice before the team resumes play on Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.
After practicing, he spoke with LA Kings Insider about the two weeks he spent in Sochi.
On facing Finland after losing to Canada:
We turned around pretty quick. Emotionally, it was a tough game. Essentially you’re getting knocked out of the playoffs but still have to play another game for something that means something. We turned around pretty quick. Again, against the Finns we played a good first, and we kind of fell apart after that.
On whether he saw any other Olympic events:
I didn’t personally. [With] our schedule, we were playing every other day. I mean, the set-up was great. I guess there were probably…a couple events I wanted to go to. It was really hard to find tickets, and that sort of thing. But, like I said, the Olympic experience, the Olympic village was right next to the Olympic park. It was a good overall experience.
On how the crowds responded to the American athletes:
Everything was really good. The conditions over there, it was awesome. The set-up was great, the facilities were awesome. The fans were good. I think naturally the hockey became less interesting for a lot of people when Russia got knocked out, and I think that’s understandable. After the quarters, the atmosphere was a little different.
On skating alongside NHL rivals such as David Backes and Ryan Kesler:
I mean, it’s one of those things, if you’re lucky enough to play at different U.S. tournaments, you kind of know the guys a little bit. I mean, that was the good thing about our team, was I knew…the majority of the guys I played with at one point or another. We had some laughs about certain aspects of playing against each other and that sort of thing. Now, you flip it back the other way, and it’s pretty much how it’s going to be.
On the 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game:
They scored two back-to-back goals and kind of took the sails out of us. If we scored the third goal of the game, maybe it’s different. But in a game like that, a three-goal game – I mean, the score’s five-nothing – you know how it is with a blowout. It’s disappointing.
On playing for Dan Bylsma:
He’s a really positive coach. You’re in such a short term tournament. All these tournaments, you go to, you have different types of coaches. But overall the experience was great.