It takes a lot to get Dustin Brown to miss a game. Even Martin Hanzal’s dangerous hit on Brown midway through the third period of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals wasn’t enough to sideline him for more than a matter of minutes.
“I was a little shocked how quick he did get up, from how it looked,” Jarret Stoll said. “It was a pretty dangerous play. He was vulnerable.”
Stoll added that he thinks Brown will be “ready for Game 3” despite needing some work on his neck. At this point, that kind of toughness has earned Brown a reputation among his teammates.
“It’s almost comical to watch, because you think he runs on batteries sometimes,” Dustin Penner said. “He just keeps on going. You can knock him down but you can’t keep him down. He takes a lot of punishment because he gives it out. He’s been that type of leader all year, not just last game or the last series.”
Of course, Brown has done more than just eat up minutes. He’s led the Kings with seven goals and 14 points in the postseason. Brown already has three points in the first two games of their series against Phoenix.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: