Call it irony, poetic justice, karma, or just plain old bad luck. Whatever you call it, I’m sure you can find the drama in this sequence of events:
On the surface, it appears as though Henrik Sedin blatantly elbows Dustin Brown in the head, which on its own is a talking point, considering that Brown crushed Henrik (on a much cleaner play) just a few nights ago. A closer examination of the play, however, reveals that the reason Brown was on his knees and in a vulnerable position for Henrik to take advantage of in the first place is because the puck, which may have actually deflected off of Daniel Sedin’s stick, appears to catch Brown in the face just seconds earlier.
While the puck to the face is obviously accidental and part of the game, it’s pretty tough to excuse or justify Henrik’s wayward elbow.
As mentioned, Brown is on his knees, trying to get back on his feet, and is in a pretty vulnerable position, not being able to see what’s going on behind him. The Canucks have possession of the puck and are clearly on the attack, with Henrik skating to an open spot beneath the icing line. We can’t say for sure that this wasn’t an accidental collision on Henrik’s route to where ever he was going, and he does appear to look back after making contact as if he wasn’t expecting to feel anything (although he could have been admiring his damage). But as you can also clearly see, Henrik extends his arm, and even flails out his elbow towards Brown’s head, a movement that wouldn’t be very natural for a guy just skating to his spot.
Was it accidental? Was Henrik actually just trying to avoid Brown by jerking his arm, or did he know exactly what he was doing? I’ll vote on option three, but will admit that I’m not as sure about this hit as I have been with past cheap shots (and we’ve had a lot to choose from) in these playoffs.
I just hope that if Brendan Shanahan and the NHL review the evidence and do end up determining that Henrik did make voluntary contact with Brown’s head (and it does appear that way), that they treat Sedin accordingly and follow up with some sort of punishment.