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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Each Monday during the month of September, Kings forward Dustin Brown will post his journal of thoughts on the weeks upcoming and past events. Be sure to check out each entry.

Dustin Brown Journal Entry Four | Entry Three
Sept. 26, 2005

We're about halfway through our exhibition schedule and so far I think the rule changes added to our game have had a positive effect. In particular, the crackdown on obstruction has led to more open ice and more time for players like me to make a play.

We have players with amazing talent throughout this league, and those players now have a little bit more time to create. That means a faster, higher scoring and more exciting game for our fans.

Throughout the preseason, we've seen more penalties called by the referees as they attempt to set the tone for how things will be called during the regular season. Look for that trend to continue into the regular season, as players continue to adjust their game while gaining a better understanding of what is and what isn't an infraction.

It's not realistic to think that players who have played hockey a certain way since they were kids will learn to play by the new rules in just a few preseason contests. I think the most important thing is for the NHL to stick to the game plan. That means a penalty called in October should also be a penalty called in April. I'm optimistic that it can be done, and our game will be better off in the long run if calls are consistently made throughout the season.

Playing hockey in Las Vegas – it's hard for me to describe just how much fun that was. Frozen Fury 8 was my first chance to skate at the Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as a member of the Kings. Although the ice wasn't in great shape, the rowdy crowd really made the night fun for all of us. The place was packed and 90-percent of the fans were cheering for us. What a great atmosphere.

The trip to Vegas also proved to be a good bonding experience for our team. As players, we spent three days together going to dinner, going to practice and hanging out. That time was very important because we have several new faces on the team.

The first few days of training camp were tough. But now, with a few preseason games under my belt, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm counting down the days until opening night and the start of another season. Preseason games are fun, but nothing compares to the real thing.
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