Moments before Dustin Penner beat Mike Smith for the
series-clinching goal that sent the Los Angeles Kings to
the Stanley Cup Finals, the Phoenix Coyotes were
First, they were unraveled by an injury to Michal Rozsival
that sent the Coyotes defenseman straight to the dressing
room late in the overtime period.
Secondly, they were visibly upset that no penalty was
called on the play. Rozsival attempted to bring the puck
into the Los Angeles zone but the play was whistled
offsides. Clearly after the whistle blew, Kings’ captain
Dustin Brown leveled Rozsival with a knee-to-knee hit drew
gasps from the crowd and started a minor fracas on the
Just twelve seconds later, Penner hammered the last nail
into the Coyotes’ postseason coffin.
The Coyotes didn’t hold back from letting their feelings
known during the post-series handshake or the locker room
when talking to media.
“How do you miss that,” Phoenix captain Shane Doan asked.
“Rosey’s knee is blown out. How do you miss that? How do
you miss that when it’s after the whistle and it’s a knee?
How do you possibly miss that?”
Doan wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
“When Brown gets away with something like that after the
whistle, knee on knee, that’s a dangerous play,” goalie
Mike Smith said. “If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his
hit during the play, this guy should be done forever.”
Strong words indeed, but is anybody listening?
That answer clearly is ‘no’. Not only will Brown not face
a suspension from the NHL and their chief of discipline,
Brendan Shanahan, but there won’t even be a
hearing on the
It’s almost like the NHL is saying, “move along, nothing
to see here.”
Although it’s far from a guarantee, a penalty could very
well have changed the dynamic of Game 5 and possibly the
rest of the series.
It’s this kind of inconsistency when reviewing
questionable plays and handing out suspensions that has
fans frustrated with the current system in the NHL.