Armstrong: Brown is `fantastic’ captain

“Doughty-gate,” and the ensuing questions about the Kings’ need to be tougher and stand up for each other, would seem to be the first major test of Dustin Brown’s captaincy. After Monday’s game, almost all of the players had cleared out of the locker room, but Brown remained sitting at his stall, skates still laced, staring straight ahead at nothing in particular. Brown isn’t the most vocal of players, so I thought I’d ask Derek Armstrong, one of the most-veteran players, what he thought of Brown’s performance so far…

ARMSTRONG: “It’s a good learning experience for him. He’s surrounded by good people, I think, and he’s been asking good questions of some of the other veterans. He’s definitely the right person for the job. He works his butt off every night and he leads by example. It’s definitely a good test for everybody. Not just Brownie, but everybody in the leadership group. You’re going to have lots of times like this in your career, a lot of ups and downs, so it’s a just a matter of how you react. You have to support your teammates. This isn’t even that bad of a situation. People just have to learn how to rely on their teammates and realize that they’re your best friends in the room. When you have troubles, you talk to each other, just like a family. If you don’t talk about it, things can get really rough. But when you talk about it, you get things out in the open and everything seems to take care of itself.”

Question: The one question, about him being a captain, seemed to be whether he would be vocal enough. What you have seen there?

ARMSTRONG: “He’s not super-vocal, but obviously he leads by example on the ice. I don’t think every leader has to be vocal. There are a lot of leaders that are quiet, and they just go about their job. Brownie is a great leader. You watch him every day and he comes to work on the ice every day. You don’t have to be a huge vocal leader to be a leader on the team. There are other guys who can talk, and Brownie knows that. He looks to us, to other people, to help with that, but he has done a fantastic job.”

Question: What’s your reaction to the idea that you guys didn’t do enough to support Doughty after his injury?

ARMSTRONG: “As players, we know that things need to be done in a certain manner. That’s why we talk about it, and teach people, throughout their career, that you have to stick together as a team. I think that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to love each other, as a team, and stick together in the dressing room no matter what, through good and through bad. That’s what makes a good hockey team.”

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  • EncinoMan

    Since the injury to Doughty happened midway through the 2nd period, that left 40 minutes on the bench plus the 2nd intermission for the incident to be talked about and addressed amongst players AND coaches.

    Rich, with TM being so vocal after the game that more should have been done during the game in response to the hit, do you get the impression that TM made a point to the players during the game to respond and they just didn’t do it, or if not, should he have been more adamant about it, or did TM assume that the players should know when to respond to this and didn’t need to be told?

  • Dominic Lavoie

    Everybody is saying the right things but the fact remains that nobody led by example when it came to sticking up for Doughty. I have been saying that no one can make the other team get in a fight but more needed to be done to send a message. A two minute roughing against Stamkos or St. Louis might have sent the message since the offending Lightning player wouldn’t fight.

    Actions, not words are what we want to see tonight. IF Brown wants to lead by quiet example thats fine but I didn’t see him do anything to send a message the other night after that hit.

  • anthony

    I’m probably gonna get reamed by most of you guys, but I wouldn’t mind having Armstrong around for another season. At least as a utility player.
    He’s Somebody who has accepted his role on the team and has a positive attitude in the locker room.

    I’m probably gonna get alot sh-t for this.

  • src

    No shit here anthony…………always need character.

    any ideas on who is the most likely FA top scorer we go after in the off season???? Gaborik seems the most likely with a 3 year base of 5+ mil with incentives to 8-9 mil-based on games played not necessarily numbers. Cant see DL landing zetter, Det. cant part with him and he will probably sign for 6 mil/year just to stay in Det.

  • Dorian20

    hey Anthony,

    I think we have somewhat of an abundance of good locker room guys. But that’s not the reason why we’re not winning. We need people to lead by example on the ice. That’s what mostly counts. I can be a good locker room guy as well, but can i play in the NHL? Hellll no.

  • TB

    Anthony…I agree. And no pigs are not flying…but I do agree. He is the kind of player that helps bridge the gap between the young and the experienced.

  • dan

    army’s fine, just not on the first two lines or pp.

  • Kozak

    agree w/ you 100% on this Anthony. Every team needs an ‘elder statesman’ and a quality guy in the room. Army fits this bill. Me thinks that Army has been playing the last couple of games because he is being showcased. Not that there are any takers………..

  • JonG

    I think Army will be done as a player after this season, but I hope he stays connected to the game.

  • Decker

    Yah I don’t think anyone here really dislikes Army. He is a solid character guy and usually appears to give 110% effort (even when he isn’t seeing a lot of minutes). However, playing Army on a top line or in place of a more talented player, isn’t something I’d like to see done. Keep him as long as he is one of our top 12 forwards, but don’t build your team around the concept that he is top 6 material like we had in the past.

  • Anonymous

    That’s great that they talked about it, but why does Armstrong have to be so PC in answering the last question. It would be nice to hear a little disgust in the answer regarding the situation. I guess I’m the minority in thinking that.

  • Jay Wells Fan

    Rich,
    Obviously you aren’t an Elton John fan or you wrould have written that
    Brown was Captain Fantastic.

  • nykingfan

    No argument here Anthony. I think Army is the perfect role guy who can sit for stretches and get back in and do a decent job. No complaining and always leading by example.

    The Doughty thing is now history. I’m sure the players will NEVER allow something like that to happen again.
    They’re young and they have to learn certain things about being a teammate and standing up for each other. Since TM has let it be known loud and clear thru the media of his dissatisfaction, I would assume he was 10 times as loud and clear to the players.

  • hockeyfan b4 gretzky

    Kopitar needs a few games in manchester he just needs a reminder of what feels like to want to be with the big club and how to stay with them hard work got him to this level befor anybody knew he could do it

  • Dan H.

    They all say the right things (Armstrong included) but the fact remains they did NOTHING in the game. After, it’s too late. That’s where character comes in and nobody showed any.

  • Irish Pat

    Rich,

    Thanks for the visual of Brown sitting at his locker staring at no one. The Doughty drama should be dropped unless the team lets this happen again. I have a feeling it won’t. Also, Army is a thoughtful, articulate man and if he can accept the role he’s been given this season I would love to have him back next year too.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Lombardi and Murray are the architects of this team.
    If the players don’t “stand up” at the right times, or “back each other up” they should look in the mirror and fire themselves.

    I have NEVER heard Murray admit he’s not getting it right, and I have NEVER heard Lombardi say that he’s making mistakes. All these two do is point the finger at everyone but themselves.

    WHERE IS THE “TEAM” IN THAT?

    Why should the players feel like a “group” if the coach and GM refuse to take responsibility for what’s going on.

    All we hear is criticism of previous regimes and insults about the state of the franchise BEFORE Lombardi.

    MAN-UP cowards.

    If Murray can’t figure out how to get more out of these guys he should be holding himself responsible. Just like in the real world where it’s the manager’s/owner’s/leader’s responsibility if the business isn’t running well. Just like it’s the captain who goes down with the sinking ship because it’s ulitimately HIS fault.

    Way to lead by expample TM and DL.

  • brianguy

    I have a theory and let me just preface it by saying it’s JUST a theory!!

    that is, Ivanans has a hand injury or some other ailment that prevented him from coming to avenge Doughty’s injury in that game. but remains to be seen exactly what Ivanans is out for (as I understand)

  • EAT THE RICH

    Maybe if DL had brought in some decent “bridge” players that in some way mirrored what TM and DL say they want from the team shit like this wouldn’t be going on.
    If you want “team toughness” and players backing each other up, you don’t go and sign Cloutier, Nagy, Calder, Handzus, and Preissing.

    Lombardi changed course mid-stream. It’s fairly bloody obvious.

    These two are running low on the good-feeling the early season mediocrity had earned them.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s great Lombardi and Murray voiced their opinion instead of the same BS. If Murray has to tell one of his players to go “make sure this doesn’t happen again” during a game that is ridiculous. From Lombardi’s point of view don’t you think the veterans he’s assembled would take this situation into their own hands. Maybe Lombardi should have given Artyukhin a face wash on the way to the visiting locker room.

  • brianguy

    I agree with Jay Wells Fan!

    and ETR is onto something but injuries have played a role. this team could little-afford it. we do have a few decent bridge guys like Handzus, but the problem is still overall depth since you can only get a few of those, and they are the hardest to sign without them throwing your salary structure or team chemistry out of balance. how do you bring in someone to do it all and mentor guys, when they know they’re not going to contend here AND they’ll be out of a job in 2 yrs?

    they’re either a vet earning a high salary on cruise control just waiting to retire, or someone who doesn’t want to be here for above named reasons and therefore won’t sign. catch-22

    Nagy was a remarkable disaster. I still can’t believe how badly that turned out…

  • 28 KINGS

    “If you want “team toughness” and players backing each other up, you don’t go and sign Cloutier, Nagy, Calder, Handzus, and Preissing.”

    All these guys were brought in before TM was hired as a coach. And Cloutier can fight and would probably have jumped that punk who nail Doughty. When those guys were brought in, DL was addressing a bigger issue than team toughness.

  • jediknight329

    army is a great guy, but that was the poorest last answer to rich’s question. give me a break. i wanted to see blood after that hit, not frackin’ politician speak. o’d should have jump that pig and took him to the ice. instigator or not, he should have gone after him for real, not the wussy little slashing penalty he eventually took next to the benches.

    army is useless as a player, useless. i do think however, that there is a place for him within the org. what, i don’t know. but he does have those intangibles (off the ice) that help younger players.

  • Scott

    I wouldn’t mind him sticking around in the Orginization.

    In any form. He’s a great people person, he’s always willing to say hi to fans. He’s nice. He smiles. He’s a great guy.

  • markisonfire

    I remember earlier in the season, though I don’t remember who it was against anymore, that Army stood up for one of our players. Don’t remember the game or who we were playing but I remember that he did. I think he knows his role and accepts it, and as a third or fourth line character/energy guy, he can do his job well. It is sad that no one really did anything to stick up for Army when he got hurt, either.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Finger on Moller, markisnonfire.
    Army stepped up and tried to send the message.
    TM pussed out and didn’t send Ivan against McLeod in a blowout loss.
    He’s the guilty one.
    He dresses Ivan every game and leaves him punchless against Colorado and against Toronto when their guys were taking liberties with Kopitar.
    I just cannot understand the hypocrisy he’s currently displaying.

  • markisonfire

    That is what it was, ETR, thanks. And I agree, it is pretty much pointless to have Ivanans out there if he is not going to fight, and every time I see him try to check someone, he misses. I like the idea of Westgarth coming in and causing a bit of trouble, punishing the other team, and bringing a bit of energy to this team. Ivanans doesn’t do that. Sure he is big and scary, but what is the point of having an enforcer that only Georges Laraque will fight? Taking penalties isn’t always a bad thing for an enforcer. Only when they are taking tripping and holding penalties due to being out of position. If an enforcer takes a roughing penalty, that could be a momentum changer. Hit the other team’s star player. Everyone’s been trying to do it to us, lets turn the tables.

  • Duckhunter

    Anthony, I’ve said more than a couple times, I will always support Armstrong. I hate when people say things like this, but I’m going to say it anyway, you don’t know how valuable Army is unless you’ve been to a certain level and understand what he brings to the table. I am definitely on the same page with you on this one. I hope he’s around for more than a year in some kind of capacity.

  • Andre Norway

    Hi Anthony!!! do you have a fever???? You must be sick writhing that you want army around for another year because you have been bashing him and said that he sucks as long as I have been on this blog. Good to know that its not just me that sees Armys value to this team. If it was not for him the players would not have been staying behind after practises playing ping pong. That ping pong table is really teambuilding and bringing the guys together.

  • Anonymous

    ETR…you have never heard Lombardi admit mistakes? Where have you been? He has admitted every mistake he has made during his tenure as the Kings GM…you just CHOOSE to bitch and complain because that seems to be all you can do.

    Everyone is frustrated…making blind and incorrect statements don’t make you look too intelligent. I was at the GM breakfast…both of them, where he clearly stated his mistakes.

    As for Murray…the man is, for most of these KIDS, their 3rd head coach in 3 years. Patience is a virtue.

  • EAT THE RICH

    Mr. Anonymous.

    Rather than calling me unintelligent (thanks for leaving that up Rich) you can point out what DL has admitted to and discuss what’s going on with the team.
    We could then debate whether it amounts to truly accepting responsibility for the things he’s done wrong.
    And, if you went to the GM’s breakfast you must be a season seat holder.
    Congratulations for having the money and patience to stand by your team, but to those of us who’ve loved this team for about 20 years it’s getting a little tired listening to the coach mumble over his own ineptitude.

    This team is at its lowest point EVER in the past 20 years. Not it’s peak.
    DL and AEG are taking the piss out of us.

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