GLENDALE, ARIZ. - Dustin Brown was a target Tuesday night.
The Los Angeles Kings captain was slammed into the end boards by Phoenix Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal in Game 2 of the Western Conference final, a hit that saw Hanzal receive a five-minute major penalty for boarding, a game misconduct and probably a date to see NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
Prior to that, Brown took a couple of slashes from Coyotes forward Daymond Langkow and a big one from Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. In a bizarre turn, Brown was given a penalty for diving after taking the heavy slash from Smith.
“I’ve probably been involved in dirtier games,” Brown said. “There were some hits out there that weren’t good. It was one of those things where guys were playing hard. We capitalized on the opportunities we had (from the resulting power plays).”
On the play with Smith, Brown’s leg gave out after the slash.
“(The referee) said I embellished. If you look at the replay, (Smith’s) stick is above his head when he chops down on me. Most hockey players know if you get it in the right spot, your leg goes numb. That’s what happened in that case.”
Brown wouldn’t comment on whether he thought Hanzal deserved a suspension.
“I have a problem with two of their hits,” Brown said, also referring to a hit from behind by Coyotes captain Shane Doan on Trevor Lewis. “From my point, I chip it by Morris and I see Yandle coming for the puck. I know there’s guys behind me. I didn’t think he was going to hit me, I guess. He probably saw my numbers from the top of the circle. He was behind me the whole way. It wasn’t like I turned or anything. I was going to get the puck. Yandle was the right side and I thought we were going to have a puck battle. Hanzal’s a big boy.”
When asked if he felt OK after the hit, Brown replied: “No comment on that either.”