Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown didn’t get a penalty for elbowing Minnesota’s Jason Pominville during last night game, but he might still pay for the incident.
The NHL will hold a hearing for what they consider to be a suspension-worthy hit, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos and John Shannon.
The incident occurred as Brown was gaining possession of the puck and Pominville was going in for the hit. Brown’s elbow ended up connecting with Pominville’s face and Brown lifted his stick off the ice, thereby surrendering the puck. It trickled to Kings forward Justin Williams.
“You have the puck on your stick, it’s pretty tough to do anything else,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter told LA Kings Insider in Brown’s defense.
Brown said that he was just bracing himself for Pominville’s hit.
Here’s the video so that you can decide for yourself if Brown should be suspended:
That hit ended Pominville’s night. Wild coach Mike Yeo wouldn’t say if Pominville sustained a concussion.
“You hate to see a hit to the head,” Yeo commented to the Star Tribune.
It’s worth adding that Brown also delivered a controversial hit on Sunday. He didn’t get a penalty for that incident either.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Stamkos' surgeon, Karl Illig, told the Times, his risks are "very, very low," decision up to Stamkos. "I think he's doing the right thing."
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
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