Coach Darryl Sutter was adamant that Brown shouldn't be punished, given that Pominville came in at an awkward angle as Brown was bracing himself for contact: "I think the player skated into Brownie." Kerry Fraser agreed, explaining why he didn't think a suspension was deserved over at TSN:
Jason Pominville, on the other hand made the decision to attempt a poke check of the puck and in doing so lowered his posture considerably (including his head) to reach around Brown's body. At this point Dustin Brown pushed back with an attempted shoulder check and Jason Pominville's face accidentally became part of the contact as a result of the low position that Pominville had placed himself in.
Based on Dustin Brown's actions I would not deem any intent on his part to contact the head of his opponent nor would I assess an elbowing penalty on the play as a result of the body posture and approach that Jason Pominville made in attempting to separate Brown from the puck.
Shanahan obviously didn't agree, and it should be a real treat to compare his decision side by side with his ruling earlier in the year on Rick Nash.
As I stated previously, I thought Brown could get a suspension for a game or two, so this doesn't surprise me. Jason Pominville left the game after the hit, and his status is uncertain. Kopecky, by contrast, remained in after Nash failed to connect. I'm guessing that's the difference. Even though there seems to be more intent in Nash's leap--he's looking straight at the guy while Brown is not--the key is to never really expect consistency from ruling to ruling.
Brown needs to be responsible for his elbow, and this is the price.
It was his first ever suspension.
The question now becomes: how will the Kings cope with his absence? Today's game against the Red Wings will happen in a few hours -- their third game in four days. Toffoli has been recalled, but it remains to be seen where he would slot in.
Penner-Kopitar-Williams is a line that was only together briefly, but had a lot of success. Richards might also shift over to left wing.
This could damage the Kings' chances of securing home ice, or it could galvanize the team to pull together. Let's see what happens.
Let us know what you think.