Dustin Brown

Ex-referee Fraser: Brown hurting his reputation with diving


Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser addressed the topic of embellishing in today’s column at TSN.ca, making specific reference to the penalty Oliver Ekman-Larsson received for cross-checking Dustin Brown to the ice last night in Los Angeles.

Fraser deemed Brown’s reaction “not proportional to the force exerted by Ekman-Larsson,” which is a fancy way of saying the Kings’ captain took a dive.

Hard-nosed as Brown may be, he does have a reputation for embellishing – a reputation that may end up costing his team, according to Fraser.

Once a player skates down the slippery slope of embellishment, I can assure you it causes every referee to question that player’s honesty when determining a legitimate foul. I would have to suspect that previous history and reputation had something to do with the embellishment penalty that was assessed to Dustin Brown in Game 2 after taking a hard slash to the back of his knee from Mike Smith.

It’s only natural for referees to take a player’s reputation into account when calling penalties. Those that play an honest game should get the benefit of the doubt, while those that live by the flop, should die by the flop.

Related: “The game is turning a little dishonest,” says Dave Tippett

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.