The Los Angeles Kings have suffered a major injury in the preseason and it's one that will impact them for several weeks to come at best.
There was some real concern last night among the King's fan base when veteran forward Dustin Brown was forced to leave the game during the second period after he was struck by a shot from fellow Kings' teammate Anze Kopitar. Although Brown would leave the game the hope was to see him later in the night given the fact that blocked shots often only really hurt in the moment, but in this case Brown never returned.
On Sunday Los Angeles Kings insider Jon Rosen revealed exactly why the notoriously tough Brown was unable to return to the game. According to Rosen Brown has suffered a broken finger as a result of the puck that struck him and has now been ruled out "indefinitely" by the Kings. There's no way to tell given the time table provided by Rosen exactly how long Brown will be out for but this injury alone could cause him to miss more games this season than he has during his entire National Hockey League career.
Since joining the Los Angeles Kings organization as a full time roster member Brown has never played in fewer than 79 regular season games in a single season, lockout season not included, and this injury will almost assuredly bring his streak to a screeching halt. In total Brown has missed just 18 games since he played in his first full season during the 2005 - 2006 NHL regular season and it wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility to see him miss than much depending on what kind of procedure he will need to undergo to repair the damage to his finger.
The situation will likely be incredibly frustrating for both Brown and the Kings' and it will be made even more so by the fact that it was a teammate that knocked him out action. Add to that the fact that this happened during the very last game of the preseason for the Los Angeles Kings and you've got yourself a perfect storm of frustration for everybody involved.
There is a silver lining here however for Brown and that is the fact that his injury is coming off what was largely viewed as a very good bounce back season from the NHL veteran. Brown, the Kings' former captain, was stripped of his captaincy after a disappointing stretch of play with the Kings but the move seemed to rejuvenate his career. Brown exploded out of the gate during the 2017 - 2018 NHL regular season and recorded 28 goals and added 33 assists for a total of 61 points. It was no small feet for a 33 year old player that had begun to fall out of favor with the organization and in fact it marked the highest point total of his NHL career thus far. That's made even more impressive when you realize that this is a guy who has over 1000 career NHL games under his belt already.
Fans will be much more willing to accept the absence caused by the injury now that he has shown a renewed commitment to the team and hopefully those positive vibes will help him make a speedy recovery.