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Bylsma on benching Brown: We went with players who could score

Feb 22, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Dustin Brown #23 of the United States with the puck during the Men's Ice Hockey Semifinal Playoff on Day 14 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the United States’ Olympic dream gradually turned into a nightmare, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown spent more and more time warming the bench.

With America losing to Canada 1-0 in the semifinals, Brown logged just 1:05 minutes in the third period. It didn’t get better for him in the United States’ 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game as he logged just 4:48 minutes in total, with 1:43 minutes of that coming in the final two frames.

So why was Brown’s role diminished after he logged around 10-15 minutes in each of America’s previous contests?

“We were going with players we thought could score a goal,” U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma said, per Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski.

Certainly Brown isn’t a pure goal scorer, but neither are Ryan Callahan or David Backes, who roughly tripled his ice time against Finland. In fact Brown, who had an ‘A’ on his jersey, finished dead last in playing time for the United States in its final contest of the 2014 Winter Games.

“I’m not happy about it,” Brown admitted to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott, “but it’s the coach’s job to figure out the best chance to win if that’s what he thinks.

“I’m a player, he’s a coach. That’s how it works.”

Unfortunately for him, this isn’t an isolated incident. After recording at least 20 goals and 50 points in five straight seasons before the shortened campaign, Brown has just 16 points in 58 contests in 2013-14 and has seen his playing time with the Kings dip as well.

There’s still time for him to end his season on a high note and with the Kings still battling for a playoff spot, they could certainly use the boost.

  1. beergold - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Every team has a player in the dressing room that is “tolerated” as opposed to “accepted”….rest assured Mr. Brown wasn’t a popular guy in the USA dressing room!

    • tmbtrumpet - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      So obviously you’re a player and have inside knowledge right of the Team USA locker room???
      Oh you’re actually just some nameless faceless slob on the internet making accusatory statements. Nevermind….

      • ydkjs2 - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        Exactly what I was going to post.

      • ron05342 - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        Who apparently drinks golden-colored beer.

        And, given the thoughtless post, probably had a lot of it prior to vomiting all over his keyboard.

      • rcbreezy1972 - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        In his defense, Brown is kind of an ass wipe.

    • tmbtrumpet - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      So obviously you’re a player and have inside knowledge of the Team USA locker room???
      Oh you’re actually just some nameless faceless slob on the internet making accusatory statements. Nevermind….

    • socaldave80 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      beergold—-One word describes you!! That’s Moron!!

  2. areaman714 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    What has Brown done for you?

  3. bsaures - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Ya maybe if he had played more he could have taken out Selanne with a dirty hit before he scored and changed the game lol

  4. c9castine - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    i think browns 2 goals place him among the teams leading goal scorers.

    its really not important, but he was scoring as much or more than anybody. but its a moot issue.

  5. uscthom78 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Bylsma has too much respect for the Finnish Flash to send someone out who was aiming to permanently end the career of Teemu. after all one is a duck and the other is a queen.

    • tmbtrumpet - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Bylsma is a clueless clown that owes everything in his career to Queen Sydney, the crying megastar. Bylsma was a crap player and is a mediocre coach. Hell of a motivator he proved to be, back to back shutouts with that talent.

      All you did was light a fire under Brown. Thanks!

      • m1k3g - Feb 22, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        I guess you could say the same for Ed Olczyk and Michel Therrien….

        Tell us… What does it feel like to be so hopelessly dumb?

      • blomfeld - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        BINGO TRUMPET !!!!!!!!

        the bottom line is that Bylsma and the ‘flightless’ birds now have a ‘big time’ target on their backs ! … and trust me, positively ‘everyone’ is now going to be gunning for them ! … of course that includes our very own Captain Brown ! :)

        WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU ?

      • hockey412 - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:33 AM

        I can’t believe you got anywhere near the number of thumbs up that you did. Brown is an “eh” player, EXCEPT that he takes hits, crosses the line at times, and stirs it up. He went with who he felt was playing best. Period…that’s his job.

        Maybe he was looking after his young Dman’s (Mattaa) knees!

  6. nwharris75 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Brown was on the ice for the first two goals. From my perspective, he didn’t do his job. The second goal he didn’t even backcheck. I’d would have benched him too. That being said, Brown is a physical player and had scored two goals which was more that I was expecting. Patrick Kane scored none which was less than I was expecting.

    • John Lyle - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Yeah if giveaways were a benchable offense, then Patrick Kane should have been a healthy scratch after the game with Canada. He was no better today

  7. 19to77 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Could’ve fooled me, Disco Dan, what with the resounding zero goals they scored.

    • Professor Fate - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      From favorites to no medal at all. Disco Dan can’t admit he got soundly out-coached.

      • flyerspsu - Feb 22, 2014 at 9:54 PM

        i think its time to start questioning Bylsma’s clutch coaching, since the 2009 cup the penguins have struggles mightily in the playoffs despite being favorites nearly every year

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      A Disco Dan coached team scoring zero goals against tougher competition come crunch time? Haven’t we seen this act before ?

  8. vagabondjim65 - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Look at the numbers for the US Fforwards:

    http://www.extraskater.com/olympics/players?sort=goals_tot&pos=F&country=united-states&gender=men

    Who had more G than Brown’s 2: Kessel, and Backes.
    Who had NO G: Kane, Oshie, Pacioretty among others.

    Points wise, he was middle of the pack.

    GD/60: Only Kessel, Kessler, and JVR were better.

    “Looking for guys who could score” is not empirically validated here….

    Bylsma — man up and admit you got out coached 2 games in a row,

    • bsaures - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Wow he scored against Slovakia and the Czech Republic two powerhouse teams. When saying he doesnt score he was referencing Browns 16 points so far this season which would put him near the bottom of the team in scoring including being outscored by half the dmen by 2-1.

      He was a -2 in less than 5 mins of work. Bylsma was more than justified sitting that clown

      • John Lyle - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        Bylsma panicked in the Canada game and benched him. They played like crap for the reast of that game and the entire second and third periods of the Finland game. I agree with an earlier poster. Bylsma was outcoached and tried to turn Kane into Crosby.

        Repeating – Oshie, Pacioretty, Kane – ZERO goals.

      • bsaures - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        He didnt panic he realized that the team would have a better chance winning without him in the lineup. He looked terrible in the canada game he was completely outclassed and the bench needed to be shortened so he was cut.

        Oshie did score:

        http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400000_83_57_0_USA.pdf

        and even if KAne didnt score he still had more points than Brown. And its not fair to call out Pacioretty for not scoring when he only played 5 of 6 games and didnt get to play much in the easy games that Brown got his points.

      • vagabondjim65 - Feb 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        And how many goals did Kane, Oshie, et al score against those same “powerhouse” teams? Yeah, exactly.

      • vagabondjim65 - Feb 22, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        Oshie’s goal was his GWG in the SO — the IIHF counts that as a goal. The NHL, doesn’t.

        So saying it’s unfair to compare a guy who showed enough to score 2 goals against a guy not good enough to crack the lineup is sensible?

        I think Brown has sucked all year (more than that) for the Kings. But reality is that playing guys IN slumps (some of whom missed SO and PS opportunities…) instead of a guy who did score under your system is just bad coaching.

        Kane is a stud for CHI. Here he was absolute crap.

      • bsaures - Feb 22, 2014 at 10:21 PM

        Its about not putting out a guy who played terrible in all the games that mattered who by all accounts should not have been anywhere near the team after playing as bad as he has this year. A guy who takes stupid penalties on a regular basis with 56 PIMS so far this year and NONE are from fights.

        Any coach would think Kane, PAcioretty, and OShie in a slump are better options than Brown this year. Brown took a bad penalty that led to the pp goal in the Russia game tying the game with less than 8 mins left in the third.

  9. Professor Fate - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    The U.S. squad was offensively ineffective its last two games. The defense was absent in its last game. Perhaps all the players on the ice coincidentally had two straight crappy games, but it seems to me that the coaching staff not only did a poor job of preparing the players in those last two contests, but probably were out-coached in them, too.

    • stevepunak - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Bylsmas obviously way out of his class. He had either the first or second most talented group of guys out there, and turned it to crap. That doesn’t go against the players.

      Pure coach pal.

  10. strictlythedanks - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Hence the reason Brown should never have been even considered for the team.

    • vagabondjim65 - Feb 22, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      That’s a more legitimate position than benching him…

  11. Wineshard - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  12. nicofthenorthstar - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Karma

  13. hazlydose - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Dustin Brown was benched because he couldn’t “get to his game”.

  14. chanceoffleury - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    One must wonder whether Okposo or Ryan would have scratched together a game changing play sometime within the last 48 hours? What’s the over-under on Team USA leaving 2 of it’s top offensive forwards off the team if the NHL goes in 2018? As I said before the Olympics: I trusted management’s decision making on leaving some guys off, but if it didn’t work out they’ll have to pay the piper. Well they better pay up because what I saw the last 2 days sure as heck wasn’t the hard nosed effort I was expecting.

    Bylsma better say his prayers that 29 pulls it together this year, because his days in Pittsburgh seem to dwindle with every opportunity that passes, no matter which logo is on the front of the jersey. A team going from top offensive talent in the qualifiers and early rounds, to being laughed off the ice in embarrassing fashion when they got to games that actually mattered? I remember this story and it was even harder to stomach the second time. Different names and logos on the jerseys, but the nightmare’s all the same. I didn’t like watching this as an American, but I think being a Pens’ fan made it all the more aggravating to take in.

  15. 950003cups - Feb 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Bylsma acted more like a little league coach than someone looking to win a gold medal by picking his favorites for the team. I mean, seriously, Paul Martin? Dustin Brown? Max Pacioretty? Who are those guys? Captain was Parise? He never opens his mouth. He’s a scared school boy. He let Zach Rinaldo slew foot him and he just skated away and Kovalchuk had to send a message by knocking Braden Schenn out.

    • shaundre93 - Feb 22, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      How did you forget Orpik? The most irrelevant player on the team, who was clearly picked because of Pens bias. I dare anyone to try to explain how Orpik made this team over Yandle, Greene and both Johnson’s for any reason other than the team hes on. even buff could have been better. At least he’d add offense. And for anyone who suggests the PK, Suter, McD, Carlson, Martin and one of the aforementioned D would have been fine without sacrificing every other facet of the game. I honestly think Bylsma cost the US a chance at gold, if any one person is to blame, it’s him

      • vagabondjim65 - Feb 22, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        Matt Greene? OK, you have got to be kidding. He’s been a healthy scratch several times since the new year started. Benched for Alec Martinez….

        Jack Johnson is a statistical disaster. Leaving him off is the right call.

        Yandle should have been there. And I say that hating the ‘Yotes…

        Team makeup is on Poile, not Bylsma. Playing that team is on Bylsma.

      • hockey412 - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:37 AM

        Orpik played well…he cleared the front of the net like a beast, which is something that none of the people you listed can do. Bylsma likes to pair up a puck distributor and a stay at home guy as much as possible. You listed a bunch of offensive D-men…and that’s all.

        Also, please remember in your biased rant that it wasn’t Bylsma OR Shero that picked Orpik, it was Poile. What bias does Poile have?

  16. sportsfan69 - Feb 22, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    I guess Bobby Ryan wouldn’t have made a difference in providing Offense? Some bigger bodies in front of the net with a scoring touch. I think General Patton should have given our American boys a pep talk about winning and the committment it is to wear the American jersey.

    • blomfeld - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      well said friend !!!!!!! :)

      • sportsfan69 - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:30 PM

        Thank you Comrade Blomfeld

    • blomfeld - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      yes comrade ! … and a pep talk from Colonel Hessler wouldn’t have hurt either eh ? :)

      • sportsfan69 - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        Thank you my friend. General Patton actually felt his real enemy was the dirty Russians. He was ready to push back the communist bas$tards after WWII with the help of the Germans.

      • blomfeld - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        You’re correct friend, as Patton wanted to put a rifle in every German POW’s hands and have them ‘fall in’ with the Americans for a push right through to Moscow! And therefore I’ve always been convinced that he was ‘murdered’ in that car crash of Dec ’45 and that it was no accident.

      • sportsfan69 - Feb 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        Herr Blomfeld,

        You’re correct in your assumptions, Patton was murdered by the communist ba$tards. You give the German Army petrol (blood) and air cover, along with an battalion of tigers. That’s victory along with the support of the American Army. Sturmgewehr 44 assalt rifles was issued to late in the war to make a difference.

  17. djshnooks - Feb 23, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    Terrible coach who has been rising Crosby and Malkin’s coattail to ONE cup.

    Hope USA’s brain trust learned a lesson.

    He chose his own slow-footed defenseman in Orpik, over a quick-footed puck-moving defenseman in Keith Yandle…and he left Bobby Ryan at home, while he struggled to find players who could score goals.

    David Backes over Dustin Brown? That there says enough about his decisions.

    I’m so sick over this…I’m embarrassed!!!

    • jhaegs - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:12 AM

      David Backes over Dustin Brown… makes perfect sense to me! Brown was HANDED two goals by good assists. One shot from the top of the crease, and the other in a wide open net (Backes with the assist). Backes was more physical, played better D, and was all around the better player. If love to hear your argument for Brown…

  18. nflfan4now - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    and how about his other stupid decision to play Quick Saturday instead of a rested Miller? 3 games in four days obviously was too much for Quick, he played lousy compared to how good he played in the other games.

  19. gwilly56 - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I was left with a sense that US forgot the body against the Canadians…too many “friends” out there and not enough contact. To me that’s Brown’s game, especially this year. As a Kings fan, it was great to see Brown getting the nod for the team. However, given USA’s emphasis on offense, coupled with Blysma’s reluctance to go physical, I agree with the comments around whether Brown was the right choice for the team – two goals aside – I don’t think he was.

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