America’s Jarome Iginla
by Tim Morgan
Since Jarome Iginla joined the Calgary Flames, he has been extremely successful, as the Flames, themselves, have been. He has captained them to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2004. Jarome is presently regarded as the best captain and leader in the game and his achievements are noted throughout the NHL. He has also been a major player for Team Canada, winning them a gold. With his booming slap shot, his ability to find the open ice, and his tendency to strike fear into opponents’ hearts, Jarome is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NHL.
Jarome needs not this introduction, but another player whose skills resemble Jarome’s might. A player who the casual fan might not know, but should for good reasons, is LA Kings captain Dustin Brown. Brown, a Connecticut native, is one of America’s up and coming stars. Coming into the Olympics, he was one player I was especially excited to watch. When watching Dustin Brown, it’s hard to ignore the Iginla in him. Dustin, like Jarome, does everything on the ice; from scoring big goals, to turning the momentum of the game around with a bone crushing hit or a big fight with the opponent’s tough guy. Jarome’s captaining ability is impeccable, and Dustin is not far from that. Brown is already being recognized for his leadership ability despite his not even having turned 25 yet.
Big # 23’s game won’t dazzle you, he won’t leave you on the edge of your seat like Alex Ovechkin; but his game should get your attention every time. Brown strikes fear in his opponents. Whether battling in the corners or along the boards, the opposition definitely knows if Brown is on the ice. During those battles the opposition will be seeing that number 23 from ice level after he put a crushing hit on that player. Simply put, Brown is a freight-train. The highly skilled player led the NHL in hits last year.
But don’t for a minute mistake Brown’s offensive game. He has a booming shot, a bull in front of the net. He is a nightmare for goalies and defense man alike. On the power play, Brown is a mainstay in front of the net, driving goalies crazy with his ability to screen and deflect shots. He has a nose for the net and the goes to the tough parts of the ice to score what people call “garbage” goals. Every time Dustin’s skates hit the ice, he is giving 100% and doesn’t stop until he levels someone, scores a goal, or drops the gloves with a tough guy to spur his team on.
So if your favorite team is playing the Kings and your favorite player just got run over, and you ask yourself who that train was, you already know. It was Dustin Brown and you should take notice. The NHL has already.