Here’s what the NHL’s department of player safety said Friday, on the day after the Kings’ Dustin Brown cracked the Columbus Blue Jackets with a shot to the head: “As per Rule 48, we have taken into account point (ii) Whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable. At moment of contact Brown’s elbow is tucked & his skates are on the ice. Arm flare & elevation are AFTER contact.”
Brown’s walking a fine line, however. The Kings love his physical play, but opponents around the league are starting to notice the toll it’s taking. Brown injured San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl with a knee-to-knee hit that still has the Sharks shaking their heads. Brown also ran into Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, injuring his ankle and leading to a series of altercations in the teams’ next game. Last season, Brown was suspended for a hit on Minnesota’s Jason Pominville.
The Blue Jackets said Murray suffered an upper-body injury. He returned to the game, a 2-1 overtime victory for the Kings, but only after sitting out most of the second period following the check. Brown was given a charging penalty.