During the first period of Thursday night’s win over San Jose, Los Angeles Kings’ captain Dustin Brown received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his knee-on-knee collision with Sharks rookie phenom Tomas Hertl. While he didn’t agree with his punishment, Brown admitted that he understood the referee’s decision.
At the risk of sounding bias, however, I thought the infractions given to Brown were too harsh.
As the replay showed, the Los Angeles captain made no effort to injure Hertl. Instead, he was simply trying to avoid a collision. While his attempt was ill-fated, he was okay on the play despite the front of his knee receiving most of the impact. Unfortunately for Hertl, he received the worst of the collision as he was forced to leave the game.
Just seconds after said collision, San Jose’s colour broadcaster Drew Remenda called the play “cheap” but, to his immense credit, rescinded once he saw the replay admitting that he shouldn’t have said that as the play was simply a freak collision and not a case of Dustin Brown attempting to injure Hertl.
The next day, Hertl’s short-term fate was announced as it was made public that the Czech would miss a month at the least as a result of the knee collision the previous night.
Now to the part where I air of grievances.
With the news of the longevity of Tomas Hertl’s unfortunate injury, a plethora of fans from around the league (whether it was on Facebook or TSN.ca just to name two sources) were calling for Dustin Brown’s head. Some suggested that the Kings captain should be “clotheslined” or suspended as long as Hertl’s sidelined or even worse, banned.
As far as I’m concerned, these complaints do not go beyond simple bitterness or even jealousy towards not only Dustin Brown but the entire Los Angeles Kings team.
While some may suggest calling other fans jealous comes off as a tad pompous, I cannot fathom why fans would be calling for Brown’s blood when the replay clearly showed a significant lack of intent on the play. Had Brown collided with, say, a fourth-liner or a minor-league journeyman up for a brief stint with the big club, then would it be as a big a deal? My guess is no. However, since it was a player taking the league by storm this season, it warrants everyone to scream bloody murder.
Whether these so-called fans are from Vancouver and still hold resentment towards Dustin Brown for his devastating hit on Henrik Sedin in 2012 or whether they’re beyond disappointed that the Kings haven’t tanked since losing Jonathan Quick to injury, they should simply shut their mouths, start using their eyes and believe what they see, which is Brown making an effort to get out of Tomas Hertl’s way. It really is too bad to see the rookie sidelined for at least a month but in the risk of sounding insensitive, that isn’t Dustin Brown’s problem.
Dustin Brown getting suspended for the same length as Tomas Hertl’s injury? Good luck with that.
What’s done is done. Injuries are sadly a part of hockey, most of which occur without a shred of intent. Dustin Brown received enough punishment from his major and game misconduct – and even that was too much.
What’s done is done, naysayers. Deal with it.