Frozen Royalty: Time For The Los Angeles Kings To Be Patient With Dustin Penner Is Up
Kings fans less professional than Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty have used the term “worthless” and “bust” referring to Dustin Penner. Here, Gann takes a look at what’s going on with Penner. Enjoy the read!
EL SEGUNDO, CA — To anyone who has watched the Los Angeles Kings fairly regularly over the last seven weeks, left wing Dustin Penner has been very, very noticeable…
…for all the wrong reasons.
Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi acquired Penner in a trade deadline day deal on February 28, 2011, in a deal that sent defenseman prospect Colten Teubert to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange, along with a first round selection in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft that will become a second round selection should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season.
Penner was acquired to score goals and create space for center Anze Kopitar. But with Kopitar out until next season with a broken ankle and torn ligaments, Penner, who is one of the most skilled forwards on the team, was expected to step up and give the Kings a lift.
But Penner ended the regular season scoring just two goals and adding four assists for six points in 19 games with the Kings. Even worse, he ended the regular season without a point in the final twelve games, and he last scored a goal on March 13 at Dallas.
That was 16 games (including playoffs and regular season) ago.
Through three playoffs games, Penner has just one assist, and, like he ended the regular season, has mostly been a non-factor. Even head coach Terry Murray has noticed, as he has demoted Penner to his team’s fourth line during Games 2 and 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks lead the series, 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Despite his poor play, Murray is reticent to make any drastic personnel changes.
“Dustin Penner’s a very talented guy,” said Murray. “He can become a very good player in this game. Size, strength, speed, skill—he can make a difference in a game for us, and that’s what we need right now, for him to give us that kind of a performance.”
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.
And, if you want to read more about the abysmal game three, read Gann’s other latest: LA Kings On Short Road To Recovery After Game 3 Flop Against San Jose.