23rd May 2012
By Dave Cunning
A lot of discussion has taken place regarding Dustin Brown’s game five hit on Michal Rozsival in overtime that speculatively should have resulted in a penalty and perhaps not subsequently led to Dustin Penner’s overtime series winning goal.
It made for a heated on-air discussion between Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick – Milbury arguing that the whistle was blown early enough that Brown could have let up, and Roenick arguing that letting up was an impossibility within the time frame.
Upon my own review, I agree with Roenick. And once again, I’ll happily call Milbury an idiot.
Here’s a frame by frame breakdown of the play, and why this is not a play that should have been penalized.
1. Michal Rozsival gains possession of the puck after the cross-ice pass to him skips off the boards. He’s still got about 20 feet until the blue line, and Doughty isn’t giving him any space to gain the line.
2. Rozsival’s linemates have so much speed upon entry, they have to slow up and drag their skates in an attempt to stay onside. This is the point where Rozsival should have dumped the puck in to be chased and recollected deep in the Kings’ zone – instead he cuts to the middle, puts his teammates offside, and puts himself in Dustin Brown’s trolley tracks. From Brown’s posture, you can tell he’s adjusted his path towards his target.
3. The play is not offside yet, as the puck has not crossed the blue line, and no call has been made. Brown is zeroing in.
4. Now the puck is offside, yet no whistle has been heard. Rozsival may assume the play has stayed onside (the linesman is behind him, no way to confirm besides a whistle), but he has no options.
5. Contact is made.
6. The linesman finally sounds the whistle and indicates the play is offside with his arm.
This entire play unravels in less than a second of play, and I will confidently say that Brown was within his rights to make the hit. The only thing that becomes questionable is the point of contact.
From the picture below, it certainly appears that the entire left side of Brown’s body makes contact, rather than his knee; and further, it seems that Brown’s principal point of contact is with Rozsival’s left shoulder.
And after the game, with emotions spilling over, the insanity begins. Post-game interviews with Shane Doan and Keith Yandle taking the cake.
TSN Video Link Here: http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/clip684404#clip684404
“It’s a crime scene,” said Yandle, crying foul all the way home. “They know we don’t have an owner, or anyone to back us up…I know the refs where the same color uniforms as the Kings, but they didn’t have to play for them… you work your whole season for this, and for it to be taken by some guys that aren’t playing is tough.”
This sort of commentary is straight out of Ace Ventura, when Ray Finkle swears he wouldn’t have missed the Superbowl winning kick if Dan Marino had kept the laces out. It’s a big-time cop-out – the fact is the Kings scored more goals, and won more games than Phoenix, and that’s what it’ll always come down to. Even if that call is made, and maybe that goal doesn’t happen, who’s to say the Kings don’t score another way? The Kings have scored more goals on the penalty kill than anyone else. And further, this is only one loss out of four – for Yandle to insinuate that the whole series was lost on one goal is being extremely short-sighted. Maybe instead of crying conspiracy theory, Yandle should have scored more than one goal through three rounds of playoff hockey.
http://davecunning.wordpress.com Twitter: @davecunning
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