Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 1/24/13
EDMONTON, Canada -- The first casualty of the Kings slow start turned out to be left wing Dustin Penner, a healthy scratch for Thursday nights game against the Oilers. Kyle Clifford will be taking Penners spot on the second line with Jeff Carter and center Mike Richards, at least at the start. Penner thought this move might be serving as a wakeup call for the Stanley Cup champion Kings, off to an 0-2 start. Its one of those things that the guillotine has to fall somewhere when the team under-produces and more times than not, its fallen on me, said Penner, who especially struggled in the 3-1 loss at Colorado on Tuesday. Unfortunately for Penner, the benching comes against one of his former teams, the Oilers. At different times, Penner was a healthy scratch in his Edmonton days, falling into the doghouse of then-coach Craig MacTavish. I think weve been there before, Penner said after Thursdays morning skate. Its unfortunate. I wish I could say Ive played better. But I havent. Its on me. And Ive gotta play better. The other part of the equation is trying to jump-start the likes of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, pointless in two games. Its getting Richie and Jeff, somebody with them right now, that can get them going and sustain a pace of play the way the game is right now, said Kings Coach Darryl Stutter. Thats the hard part. Tough love, again? He Sutter has the best intentions for me. Ive had a lot of tough love, Penner said. And this is different and similar in a lot aspects. Obviously I can be better and I have to be. Its one of those things, one of the coaches said Im too good of a player to be average and Ive been average the first two games. -Lisa Dillman
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