Brown reacts to Hanzal’s suspension
It’s all a guessing game this time during the playoffs — at least when it comes to supplementary discipline, and in particular, the case of the Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal, who received a one-game suspension for his hit on the Kings’ Dustin Brown in Game 2.
Game 3 is tonight in Los Angeles.
“I know these [playoff] games are probably worth more,” Brown said after Thursday’s morning skate at Staples Center. “I thought he was going to get two. But it’s not an easy decision to make. Considering we’re in the Western finals, as a player you really don’t worry about the length [of the suspension].
“Right now they’ve got one of their top centers out and we’ve got to be ready to go.”
Hanzal has three goals and five points in 13 playoff games. In two games against the Kings, the Coyotes have one goal from one of their forwards. Expected to take Hanzal’s spot in the lineup is Marc-Antoine Pouliot, who has played in five playoff games this spring.
Brown also said his leg went numb after Phoenix goalie Mike Smith slashed the back of it near the end of the second period. Oddly, Brown was penalized for diving in that situation.
His leg begs to differ.
“I don’t really understand it,” he said. “He [Smith] came down from over his head or up high. I still don’t understand, watching the clip. But most refs haven’t been slashed in the back of the leg either.
“Going into the intermission, my foot was still sleeping, maybe a little numb. When I came out for the third, I pretty much had full feeling in the leg.”
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said Colin Fraser was expected back from Canada on Thursday night but would not play in Game 3. He had to leave the team to deal with a family matter shortly before Game 2 on Tuesday in Phoenix.
Left wing Kyle Clifford, who took his spot in the lineup, said the development was not entirely a surprise as he knew Fraser had been dealing with a personal situation.
“It’s a matter of always being ready,” Clifford said. “You never know when you are going to get your chance. You want to control your emotions. You don’t want to go out there and take a dumb penalty because you’ve got too many emotions flowing. Definitely gotta keep your composure and keep that in check.”