Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown is a do-everything player, but one of those “things” involves getting under his opponents’ skin. No time was that more prominent than during (or should I say, after) Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, when his controversial hit on Michal Rozsival prompted an unusually tense handshake line. Brown is doing something that the Phoenix Coyotes understandably couldn’t do right after it happened: he’s letting it go.
Brown told Rich Hammond that he’s giving the Coyotes “the benefit of the doubt.”
“I know it’s an emotional game and (the loss) just happened. You give them the benefit of the doubt,” Brown said. “But I was a little surprised at the time. Did it affect me after the game? No. I play the game hard, and I thought it was a clean hit and that’s it. I’m moving on. Again, it happened so quick for them, so I like to give them the benefit of the doubt on the emotional level. It’s an emotional game out there, and stuff happens.”
It’s understandable that Brown is taking the high road. He’s the Kings’ leader, he won’t face a suspension for that check and his team won. It’s pretty tough to imagine him blasting the Coyotes in the press considering those circumstances.
That doesn’t mean he’s likely to get a very friendly reception next time he plays against Shane Doan & Co., though.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
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.