Dustin Brown hit on Ryan Murray: suspension or not?

Dustin Brown is known for throwing his weight around an NHL ice surface and he struck again with a big hit on Columbus’ Ryan Murray. He was called for a charge on the play, but should he be suspended for it?

Dustin Brown is known for his intensity. He’s one of the most physically active forwards going, remembered everywhere for his viciously clean hits that can borderline on something worse from time to time. But he’s only been suspended once in his career: a two-game ban last April for a hit on Jason Pominville.

For an NHLer on an opposing team, that’s important information to remember.

Thursday night, Brown’s Kings played host to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Brown was his usual pesky self. But in the middle of the second period, he levelled Columbus defenseman Ryan Murray up the middle. The 20-year-old left the game, but returned later and ended up with only 12:05 of ice time.

You be the judge: suspension or no suspension?

The two-minute charging call against Brown didn’t seem to be warranted. He’s not skating and he’s not jumping off his feet at contact, but the collision was a big one that attracted a reaction from the referee.

The question as far as supplemental discipline goes isn’t if it was a charge, but if Brown stuck out his elbow. Even that doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact, Murray appears to look up and acknowledges Brown’s presence by lunging at the puck to chip it up ice. That put himself in a vulnerable spot, with Brown already committed to the check. Brown’s line doesn’t change, but Murray’s position does.

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The reactions from the two teams were, of course, different.

Richards on the Brown hit: “The way I saw it, our player was vulnerable…primary point of contact was the head.” #CBJ

— Rob Mixer (@RobMixer) February 7, 2014


Brown: “It’s a fine hit…At this point, I don’t know if we’re allowed to hit anymore.”

— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) February 7, 2014


More Brown: “It’s just one of those plays where he kind of bails, and I’m coming in for the hit.”

— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) February 7, 2014

I don’t disagree with Brown on this one.

The Kings threw salt on the wound by winning 2-1 in overtime, with the winning goal coming from Robyn Regehr, who now has two goals over the past two seasons.

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