“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.”