The playoffs are a time when controversy and conspiracies seem to thrive. Game 5 between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings was no different.
There were a number of questionable hits throughout the series, but one will rise above the others.
With 2:30 remaining in overtime, Dustin Brown collided with Michal Rozsival seconds after an offside call was made, inciting ire from Phoenix fans and players alike.
Seconds later, Dustin Penner scored the game- and series-winner. The Coyotes wanted a penalty on Brown for the hit, calling from the bench that it was knee-on-knee.
Shane Doan and Mike Smith were among the players who were upset that no call was made.
As reported by CBSSports, Smith went so far as to state to CBC after the game, “If [Coyotes forward] Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play then this guy [Brown] ought to be done forever."
Some were calling Brown’s hit late, but after reviewing the video, the hit occurs almost as the whistle blows.
The announcers for NBC noted that Brown’s knee did not move as the hit landed. Brown did lean his shoulder in at the last second to connect shoulder-to-shoulder before the two connected at the thigh.
This was not the only play that Phoenix took issue with in the dying seconds of the game—the Coyotes also argued there was a hand pass on the play leading to Penner’s goal.
As the two teams shook hands, many of the Phoenix players were seen complimenting Jonathan Quick. However, Shane Doan and Martin Hanzel both stopped Brown to exchange words about the hit.
The video of the traditional handshake can be seen here, via Puck Daddy.
Doan still looked furious as Brown skated past after the handshake. It almost appeared as though he did not want to hear what Doan had to say.
Either way you see it, this series will be remembered for the controversial hit that saw no repercussions.
The LA Kings will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since “The Great One” laced up with the team. Phoenix will have the summer to brew over what happened.