Dustin Brown’s 400 Points: A Short List
Guess what? Dustin Brown is old now.
Alright, alright, Brown is still only 29, but that’s middle-aged in professional hockey. He’s playing his tenth season in the NHL, all of which he’s spent with the LA Kings. On Tuesday, he tallied his 400th career point to really help the Kings nail shut the Oilers’ coffin when he jumped out of the penalty box and casually scored an empty-net goal.
Hee hee, Canada loses again.
Watching Brown reach another milestone at Staples Center made me think back through some of my favorite Dustin Brown points. This isn’t the time for a full-scale Brown retrospective; I’ll save the maximum sap celebration for the end of his tenth season, perhaps, and then overload on every ridiculous Brown-related thing I can find on the internet, capped off with mushy emotional turns.
Look at that goofy, lisping teenager.
Congratulations to him on all his accomplishments.
For now, I’ve once again been thinking about how Brown was ranked second overall among top prospects for the 2003 NHL draft, got selected 13th, and is — these days — generally known for being a physical player but not really for being a skilled skater or goal-scorer. Fun tidbits: he was ranked at the number two spot for being a great skater and also described as a “pure goal-scorer” by Alan Millar, Guelph Storm’s general manager at the time.
So, what would a Brown highlight reel include to represent points earned? My first thought was of that real fly lofted, lead pass play that he and Anze Kopitar bust out sometimes.
The first time was unforgettable. It came during a game against the San Jose Sharks, December 2010:
It’s made at least a couple more appearances, including the 2012 Western Conference Final. Brown and Kopitar switched roles for that one, but it’s the same cute move.
They pulled it out again while playing the Anaheim Ducks last season. Viktor Fasth managed to stop Brown’s shot, but the execution of the pass remained perfect.
The two that went in would be a couple of my favorites among Brown’s 400 NHL points. A lot of my favorite Brown assists and goals would probably include Kopitar, actually. Not only because Kopitar is a great player, but I think he and Brown have developed a good knack for knowing just how to position themselves to help each other out.
A little give-and-go from 2010:
Some more back and forth from 2012:
And, hey, remember that Brown made the pass that turned into Kopitar’s first NHL goal:
The vast majority of that goal’s beauty came from Kopitar, but the assist is part of Brown’s point totals, too.
It’s probably a good thing that the NHL didn’t get into the habit of posting video for every goal until a few years ago, otherwise I’d keep going back through clips. I’ve enjoyed the evolution of Dustin Brown so far, and I look forward to seeing what other points he collects. His empty-netter last night means he has 12 more to go before he reaches a career 200 total goals scored. Brown’s had some trouble finding the back of the net this season, but I’m still hoping he picks it up. I want all 12 of those goals before 2013-14 is finished.
*Kopitar has made a similar pass to other players, like for this Gagne goal in 2011, but it tends to look the most deliberate between him and Brown to me.