Dustin Penner: King of Pain
Kings left wing Dustin Penner used another word to describe this injury-riddled stretch, one consisting of bad luck and bad timing.
Penner was starting to find a small measure of consistency when he took a shot off his hand in the third period against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 10, and it landed him on injured reserve. He will travel with the Kings on their short trip to St. Louis and Dallas this week but won’t be returning to the lineup imminently.
“That one caught me square in the knuckles -- that was kind of a freak thing,” Penner said after practice on Monday in El Segundo. “After eight years, I guess I was owed one from standing in front of the net.”
The pain and inflammation from the break has gone down and Penner showed a much better range of motion, saying he has not had any setbacks.
“He’s going to continue doing the conditioning part of it, just get on the ice and do the skating, but he’s not going to play,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said.
“I think the count is at six or seven injuries now since before the start of the season and I’ve never been injury-prone,” Penner said. “So it’s frustrating after the off-season I put in here, from May. I think there was obviously an improvement in the last couple of games, a five-game segment.
“…It’s going to come. Every season poses its own challenges. It's something you learn from. Not every single year is going to be the same. I’m not going to have the same start I had three years, two years ago in Edmonton. Hopefully when I get back, the extra conditioning, resting up my groin, my knees. Hopefully that’s a fresh start. Because it’s really starting to annoy me.
“You just become accustomed to pain.”
-- Lisa Dillman
Photo: Kings left wing Dustin Penner, right, checks Dallas forward Jamie Benn during a game on Oct. 22. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images