Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brown channels Gretzky in 5-3 win over Toronto

On Wayne Gretzky's 49th birthday Tuesday he was still the talk of Toronto. He may be too old to play in the National Hockey League, yet when the Kings are in town fans can't help but remember back to his amazing performance in Maple Leaf Gardens in the spring of 1993.

Fast forward to last night and the current Kings captain, Dustin Brown, was perhaps channeling the Great One's energy as he posted a three point night in route to a 5-3 Kings victory.

Drew Doughty, who grew up not to far from where the Leafs play, put the Kings up 1-0 early in the first period with his 10th goal of the season. Although he's just starting to get national - and international - recognition after being selected to play for Team Canada in the Olympics, the Kings organization and fans have known they have something special for quite some time.

In an article following the game Pierre LeBrun wrote "Drew Doughty makes it look so effortless, it's mind-boggling to think he just turned 20 last month." Hmmm, where have you heard that before? It's a good read nonetheless, even mentioning the fact that the goal triggered a $212,500 bonus in his contract.

LeBrun wasn't the only one touting the magic of Doughty, the National Post newspaper had an article headlined "All hail King Doughty."

For 10 Tidbits on Doughty that you may not know click here.

Wayne Simmonds, who also grew up in the greater Toronto area, had plenty of friends and family among the the hockey crazed Leafs Nation that filled up the AC Center. While he didn't have any points on the night, he did have more ice time than any forward not named Smyth or Kopitar, so he gave his cheering section plenty to see.

For 10 Tidbits you may not know about Simmonds click here.

Back to Brown, his game seems to have picked up a little of late. Perhaps, it's being named to the U.S. Olympic squad that's given him a little pep in his step - or should I say skate. It could also be his new linemates. Coach Murry has spent the better part of the last month playing musical lines trying to find the right combos for guys like Brown and Kopitar.

Whatever it is, it's working, as the Kings are enjoying a three game winning streak. Like Gretzky's team in '93, Brown says the Kings had plenty of confidence heading into the game with the Leafs:

“I think the one difference is that, last year, we hoped to win a game. This year, we’re going into a game knowing we’re going to win,” said Brown. “When you have that kind of confidence and belief system, not just from one or two guys but from 15 to 20 guys, that’s when you can see success.”

For 10 Tidbits on Brown you may not know click here.

Brown's performance wasn't only thing stirring memories of '93 though. Raitis Ivanans was back in the line up. Could there be a McSorely-esque scrap on the agenda? No, just a little protection in case the Leafs decided to play Brian Burke style hockey.

Final note on Gretzky - he has said his performance in the Kings game seven win back in the '93 Campbell Conference finals was the greatest performance of his career. Relive the greatness that was by clicking here. See if you agree.

It's a story about mullets, the Great One and so called hockey experts.

Oh yeah, the mullet lives - Smyth scored a goal on Tuesday too.

The Mayor

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