Stanley Cup Predictions 2012: Dustin Brown Will Come Up Huge for LA Kings

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Stanley Cup Predictions 2012: Dustin Brown Will Come Up Huge for LA Kings
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown leads the team with 17 points this postseason.

When people have discussed the Los Angeles Kings' success this season, Dustin Brown has always been in the shadows.

Without a doubt, goaltender Jonathan Quick is the main reason the Kings are even in the playoffs—let alone four wins away from winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

But behind every great goaltender there is a a great forward to help ease the pressure.

For the first half of the season, the Kings had no answer to their offensive struggles. After Terry Murray was fired in the middle of December, LA's offense was jump-started to help compliment their phenomenal goaltender.

Brown's 54 points in the regular season were a glimmer of hope in the Kings' abysmal offense, but since the playoffs began, Brown has taken off the training wheels and has become one of the premier forwards this postseason.

He's had a history of getting under the skin of the opposition and has made it evident for the world to see, as his defensive-minded tactics have helped to propel Los Angeles to its first Stanley Cup Final since 1993.

During Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Brown's overtime hit on Michal Roszival got the Coyotes' blood boiling. Brown was not penalized for the hit, which was a clean forearm to the shoulder when Roszival's head was down coming across the blue line.

 

Brown's defensively-offensive play has ignited a spark in a Kings team that is playing the best hockey of any team in the playoffs.

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Brown is second in the league this postseason with 17 points and has been a target of visiting teams during the entire playoffs.

He's like that annoying little brother who instigates situations and gets away with it. Brown has played hard, clean hockey all postseason and his sly, unstoppable play has helped the Kings win 12 of their 14 playoff games.

Brown ranks third in postseason goals and points and is first with a plus-13 rating.

His game-changing plays and bone-crushing hits should continue when the Kings take on the Devils. Los Angeles is clicking on all cylinders and playing some of the most impressive postseason hockey in the history of the NHL.

If the Devils have any shot of winning the Stanley Cup, they must find an answer for Brown. Whether it's a hard check along the boards or a nasty wrist shot from the point, No. 23 will be followed as closely as ever.

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