Tuesday’s game between the Kings and Coyotes went distinctly off the rails in overtime. It’s a byproduct of the high stakes and intensity and speed. Guys lose their tempers and it boils over after the whistle. We see scrums and jabs and slashes all the time and think much of it, but occasionally there’s a full speed hockey play that raises eyebrows.

In overtime, one whistle before Dustin Penner’s game winning goal, Dustin Brown caught Michal Rozsival coming across the blueline and made knee-on-knee contact. There was no penalty on the play despite the hit coming after an offside whistle being blown and Rozsival being carried off the ice.

Here’s the hit.

The obvious issues are as follows according to Bob McKenzie:

1. Should it have been a penalty?
2. If so, what penalty?
3. Is it suspendable?

Now, given that this was such a close call play, I’m inclined to say that this shouldn’t have been a penalty. At this speed it’s impossible to conclusively argue that there was intent on the behalf of Brown or that he could have avoided the knee-on-knee contact. Given an, online at least, apparent consensus that punishment shouldn’t be dependent on injury we shouldn’t take into account the fact that Rozsival appeared to sustain an injury. The whistle appears to be blown late — roughly a second before contact by my watch — and it’s hard to fault Brown for not avoiding contact in such a short time span.

Three observations at the moment of impact…

Photo Credit: ME

Black arrow: Brown sticks the arm out, meaning he wants to square up Rozsival and make contact with him. However, the arm also seems to detract from the argument that Brown wants to make contact by the knee. This isn’t a Bryan Marchment caliber assault, it’s just a byproduct of the contact he wanted to make with the body when they were further away.

Red arrow: Rozsival cuts up ice at the last second which leaves the knee of Brown as a point of contact instead of the body shot which is what Brown had initially lined up. The unfortunate byproduct of this is also that the inside of Rozsival’s knee becomes a primary point of contact which makes it more prone to severe damage.

Blue arrow: Part of the reason the hit is so devastating is that Rozsival brings the puck up ice and puts his head down coming across the blueline. When he looks back up, Antoine Vermette is blocking his view of Brown and the Kings captain doesn’t re-enter his vision — periphery at that — until the hit occurs. He had no idea it was coming and his move up ice only made the hit more severe.

In sum, a lot of things were at play here. I’ve thrown a lot at you so I’ll cut it off there and open the floor to you.

Do you think Dustin Brown should be suspended for this hit?

Comments (18)

  1. Do you think I should have been suspended for my hit on David Booth earlier this season? Could you mark up the video so I can appeal my Shanaban?

  2. ZERO chance he gets suspended. If Morris gets off from his knee on knee hit on Scuderi in game 3 which was WAAY worse than this, Brown should also get zero games

  3. Is there knee-on-knee? unfortunately yes. Was it intentional? absolutely not. We all know Captain Brown hits hard but it’s never cheap, it’s full-on, hard checking and made to be unforgettable. The timing in OT is one of those fluke things. I’m surprised it occurred, but the blue line is very dangerous, especially over the middle. I’ve read Roscival turned or cut in a direction so as to almost cause what happened rather than just get leveled. Furthermore, had the Coyotes scored and won there would be a lot less talk. My prayer was at the time and continues is that Michal is not injured.

    As far as the jawing in the line, how can we expect players to just back off from the game intensity so quickly. The Coyotes season had just abruptly ended. If the league or fans want to see a very polite handshake line then give ‘em a few minutes at least.

    Considering how we almost traded him, I’m glad our Captain has not only shown up for this Cup run but has taken absolute leadership by example and passion. Four of the toughest wins in our history remain. Go! Kings Go!

  4. The problem with most of the replays is that they are being shown in slo-mo with no sound. When you watch the play in real-time and listen for the whistle, it’s the linesman who is at fault for the late whistle – Brown doesn’t have any time to change his direction because it is a bang-bang play.

    There is no way Brown gets suspended.

    • I was also willing to blame the linesman for the late whistle but the move Rozsival makes to put the play offside is pretty sudden. You can hear the hesitation.

  5. Good Article – No Brown shouldn’t be suspended. – The Knee that Scuderi took and the slash that Brown took from Smith in game 2 looked much more suspendable. It is a face paced high stakes game and shi*t happens. Brown was not intending to injure the dude just lay him out :)

  6. The age of the Shanabanhammer has created a trend of over analyzing these situations. Did he lean in with his knee, shoulder, both? Did he have time to hold up hearing an office call? Did Roszival contribute by leaning away from the hit?

    All good questions but one could also simplify things and ask just one question:

    Was it a knee-on-knee hit?

    The answer to that question is yes.

  7. The injury is unfortunate, but when you look at the not-suspended Morris hit and this one, it’s clear that Brown’s was a lot more innocent.

  8. I feel like you’re trying to tell me the moon is flat, because you have a picture that makes it look like it is flat.

    I’m happy the Kings won, because they are playing better then they have in years. I’m unhappy about how this hit went unnoticed. No penalty even? Wow. I’m sure Brown and a lot of other players out there learned a good lesson last night. How to: take out a player, and cause a game delay without repercussion. It’s brilliant.

    To win me over, you’ll have to prove your point by analyzing the play from other angles. Like the one from Brown’s point of view showing him lining up the hit. You won’t though, because you know you’re wrong…and this is obliviously one sided argument to prove this is all Rozsival’s fault.

    I’m wondering how your evidence would differ had Brown been the one helped off the ice rather then Rozsival.

    I don’t think Brown deserves to be suspended, and he certainly doesn’t deserve a penalty, but with any luck Rozsival will never be able to play again, preventing further controversy hits like this. We don’t need any more career suicide hits like that. Heck he could have ended Brown’s career, you know, cause Brown couldn’t get out of the way.

    • Thanks for your comment. Small issue though.

      This isn’t a one sided argument to prove it’s Rozsival’s fault. This play isn’t anyone’s fault. I simply looked at this play from the league’s perspective.

      You say the play wasn’t noticed… well, it’s here and everywhere else on the web and TV, which means it was noticed, and in turn, the league will be forced to take a look. At the end of the day though, I think I’ve provided sufficient evidence as to why this wasn’t a penalty let alone a suspension.

      Likewise, while it’s a miracle Brown didn’t blow out his knee either, I fail to see why an injury to him would change how this play is viewed and put the onus on Rozsival. Brown is a defensive player initiating contact, and Rozsival is a puck carrier. Very few puck carriers not named Eric Lindros can initiate meaningful body contact while moving a play forward.

      It’s an unfortunate hit, but nobody is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

    • I wonder why you’re not upset at Smith’s two handed slash of Dustin Brown in the previous game, which could easily have resulted in an injury–oh! That’s right! You’re a Coyotes fan!

      “With any luck Rozsival will never be able to play again”–when you don’t get your way I guess you take your Rozsival ball home with you. Boo hoo! Better luck next year (if you still have a team in Pnx).

  9. After watching this several times, the whole “was this a knee on knee hit” point is garbage. Watch the video again in slow motion – Rosie’s knee hitting Brown’s thigh is the LAST point of contact in the hit. The initial hit is Brown’s shoulder/arm on Rosie’s shoulder, which starts him twisting away from Brown and raises his left foot off the ice (0:18 in the video above). Rosie is also noticing Brown for the first time just before this and tries to avoid the hit, which only opens him up more.

    This is not a dirty hit in any frame of reference – and the whistle is a moot point as well. That collision is inevitable, it’s only a matter of the severity if Brown pulls up, and how would he pull up if the whistle sounds so close to the hit? I don’t think a suspension is even close to warranted, and I wouldn’t have called a penalty on the play either if I was the ref. The results are definitely unfortunate – don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see someone’s career ended potentially – but these are grown men who fully accept the possibility that they are going to get blasted into next week at some point during a game EVERY GAME.

  10. You can claim he was leading with his arms, but if that was the case there would have been far more of a jolt to both player’s upper bodies. What doesn’t budge on Brown, though, is his knee; the impact and subsequent movement of both players show he had a huge amount of his own body weight on that inside leg, unusual when making a tight turn…

    Of course, this is the playoffs, and you’re looking at the captain of one of the league’s biggest markets facing a suspension for the most important games of the season, so it’s obvious nothing comes of it, despite Brown’s carelessness (and possible intention) in this situation.

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