Brown's Dastardly Hit On Rozsival Results In...A Bruise

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 22: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts alongside a referee after Brown checked Michal Rozsival #32 of the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime of Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Is Dustin Brown the devil incarnate -- an incorrigibly dirty player, only spared from punishment by a secret ref conspiracy? Or is he just a guy who led with his shoulder into an awkward hit that wound up being incredibly overblown?

Yeah. Let's go with option B.

NBC's broadcasters outlined all the ways that the hit shouldn't be viewed as an intentional knee-on-knee. But Mike Smith blew his top and said it was worse than Torres' hit on Hossa, deserving of a "lifetime ban." Phoenix captain Shane Doan jawed at Dustin Brown after the game instead of following tradition to shake hands in sportsmanship. He also declared that Rozsival's knee had been "blown out" by Brown's hit.

Reality turned out to be a bit different.

After all the calls for suspensions, fines, permanent bans, deportations, beheadings and the like, the Phoenix Coyotes revealed today that Michal Rozsival has…well, a bruise. A bruise to his thigh and knee, with no structural damage. Dustin Brown’s hit on Rozsival became the instant postgame flashpoint after Game 5, both because Brown was not penalized and because Dustin Penner scored the series-winning goal on the next shift. After the game, the Coyotes — particularly captain Shane Doan and stick-wielding goalie Mike Smith — were irate at the non-call, with Dr. Doan having diagnosed Rozsival as having a blown-out knee. -- Rich Hammond, LA Kings Insider

We previously argued that this 'refereeing controversy' shouldn't even exist. Derek Morris' attempt to knee Rob Scuderi was an even more blatant attempt to injure, but outrage over this incident was muted in the furor over Doan's 5 minute major for boarding Lewis, and Hanzal's major for boarding Brown.

I'm grateful Rozsival is okay. At the time, that certainly wasn't clear. The Coyotes' postgame comments were clearly fueled by emotion. I get that.

But they went over the top in their ravings, and they ought to apologize.

Nothing was as bad as they made it out to be.

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