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Kings' Dustin Penner: 'I used to be a good player'

April 12, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Kings forward Dustin Penner celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal during the third period of the Kings' 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Kings forward Dustin Penner celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal… (Rich Lam / Getty Images )

VANCOUVER, Canada -- Left wing Dustin Penner hasn’t always been productive since he joined the Kings in a trade with Edmonton late last season, but he’s a bright guy and almost always is a good interview subject. His goal-scoring abilities were in evidence Wednesday in the opener of the Kings' first-round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, and his conversational skills were in evidence Thursday after their optional practice at Rogers Arena.

Penner, who scored only seven goals this season, played a strong game Wednesday and produced the decisive goal as the eighth-seeded Kings outplayed the top-seeded Canucks and earned a 4-2 victory. His efforts won him praise Thursday from Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault, who called Penner "a powerful force down in our own end."

Asked whether he was pleased to be recognized by Vigneault, Penner decided to play word games.

“I think he recognized me from my four years in Edmonton,” Penner said. “I don’t know if you watched me but I used to be a good player.”

Used to be.

“Yeah,” said Penner, who scored 29 goals for the Ducks during their 2006-07 championship season and 32 goals for the Oilers in 2009-10 but has only nine goals in 84 regular-season games with the Kings.

What happened?

“I don’t know,” he said. “You’re such an intelligent hockey expert you could probably tell me.”

I told him I’d rather hear his version.

“Maybe one day over a cup of coffee,” he said.

A deal. And I’ll pay for the pancakes.


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