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Kings GM Lombardi on Brown suspension: ‘Forsberg made a living making this play’

Apr 25, 2013, 4:48 PM EDT

Dean Lombardi Getty Images

On Wednesday, Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi went on Sportsnet Radio’s Fan 590 and discussed the hot topic du jour — Kings captain Dustin Brown getting suspended two games for elbowing Minnesota’s Jason Pominville.

As we mentioned yesterday, the Kings are clearly not happy with the NHL Player Safety Department’s decision to suspend Brown for the remainder of the regular season.

Head coach Darryl Sutter said he was “disappointed” in the decision while Brown said he was “just bracing” himself for contact.

Yesterday, it was Lombardi’s turn (transcription courtesy Mayor’s Manor):

“You teach a player in that situation two things – you’re either proactive to the guy running you or you absorb the hit, come off the boards and explode. Those are his two options.

“If he stands there and just tries to take the hit, the physics tell you that this is when guys get killed going into the boards. So you have two responsibilities, absorb that hit and keep his eye on the puck, because you don’t want to let that puck go up to the point.

“That’s how guys get benched. And his bottom hand has to stay on the stick.

“[Peter] Forsberg made a living making this play. To me it’s not an elbow in the sense of throwing an elbow. The elbow is up, but he’s got to keep his bottom hand on the stick and keep the puck under control.”

In his explanatory video, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan classified Brown’s hit in a different manner.

“As Pominville arrives, Brown proactively tries to counter-hit him,” Shanahan explained. “Counter-hits occur often in hockey. They are usually used by players to protect themselves from impending checks, or to gain a tactical advantage.

“However, as Brown attempts this counter-hit, he extends his elbow directly into Pominville’s face, causing an injury.”

There seems to be a major discrepancy between how the Kings viewed the hit (self-protective counter-hit) and how the NHL viewed it (counter-hit, but an elbow to the head regardless).


Minnesota’s Pominville (upper body) day-to-day after Brown elbow

  1. elvispocomo - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    And Gordie Howe got away with it too, and they didn’t play with helmets let alone visors, and no one knew what a concussion was so they just played… yadda, yadda. It was an elbow, get over it.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Should have posted this in the related section, Halford:

  2. dchambers144 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Interpretation of the rules can change. A lot of players used to go for the big blindside hit (i.e. Cooke on Savard) but the NHL wants that out of the game. Maybe Forsberg did exactly what Brown did, but the new focus is on player safety.

  3. solador78 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    He should have compared it to Krejci’s elbow to Crosby’s face that gave him a concussion but didn’t earn a suspension.

    • supercoop8 - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      He probably would have if he wanted to irrationally express bruins hatred

  4. sjsharks66 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    HE NEVER PLAYED THE PUCK! Jesus christ L.A.

  5. btlpper68 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    La will always find a way to argue

    • elvispocomo - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Maybe this is a good time to repost this PHT article about Doughty…

  6. jjregan21 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    For a team that gets as many favorably officiated games, and gotten away with so many suspendable hits as the kings, you’d think they’d appreciate the free passes they’ve goten and stop whining about it. Divers and cryers

  7. wannabebluesplayer - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I agree whole heartedly with Jjregan. Brown is known as one of the biggest divers and dirty players in the NHL. Quit crying already and maybe have baby Brown actually fight one of his own battles.

  8. kitshky - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Ok, and Stevens made a career out of causing permanent brain damage and ending guys careers, what’s your point? Regardless whether or not he’s defending his own player, its mind boggling that anyone in a leadership role within the NHL would even say something so utterly ridiculous.

    And they wonder why these sorts of hits continue…

  9. thehighcountrybear - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Yes, Pominville took an elbow…that’s what happens when you attempt to clatter an opponent from his blind-side near the boards!

    Why, because game officials are inconsistent in their efforts to control back-running play, effectively forcing players to protect themselves!

    The definitive double standard…

    I saw Koivu make an identical move on Kronwall last year without an in-game call, a following League sanction, and wholly without the shrill bleating from the Wild fan base as seen in these pages after Pominville was schooled?

    Now, look for Jason to rise from his near death experience in time to play friday [ Hossa or Lazurus, you choose ]?

    Then look for him to proceed into similar situations with greater preparedness and caution, with lesson well learned!

    • mp1131211 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Post a video of Koivu hit and let’s see. Otherwise stuff it.

      • elvispocomo - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        Not to mention rulings on similar acts may change over time. Lucic’s hit on Miller wasn’t an issue last year (even if it should have been) until Shanahan went to the GM meeting and they asked him to be more strict and protect the goalies. It became a more serious offence from that day forward.

      • woodstakes - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:53 AM

        As a Wild fan I will GLADLY post the Mikko Koivu “Exploding Shoulder” hit on Kronwall (couldn’t of happened to a nicer guy too!) link…

        Watch that and tell me that’s even CLOSE to the same thing that Brown did!! High Country Bears big puss puss just hurt’s because it happened to his beloved team.. NOT EVEN CLOSE to the same thing!!

    • ctochester12 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Not sure how you can even try to compare those two hits.

  10. wannabebluesplayer - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    That’s a ridiculous statement. So a player going in for a poke heck should watch for en elbow to the face?

  11. mp1131211 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    How thick are these guys’ skulls? Its one thing to be a TOTAL flagrant homer like a couple of numbskulls on this site, but its another to go out of your way after the gavel has been dropped to continually defend what was obviously the right call to 99 percent of the rest of the world.

    hahaha…. Looks like the whole organization suffers pure stupidity!

  12. mp1131211 - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    I don’t ever remember Forsberg making hits like that. Post a video if I’m wrong, I’ll look at it.

    • jjregan21 - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      If he did, he definitely didn’t concuss anyone

    • 19to77 - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      Lombardi’s just whining. Forsberg counterhit like a boss, but he didn’t need elbows to the face to do it. He thrived on just plain crushing people. Didn’t need cheapshots to do it. He was just that strong and solid on his skates.

      But Kings staff beaking to the media about how hard-done-by they are and how unfair the call is hasn’t exactly been a new trend, has it?

      • mp1131211 - Apr 25, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        Exactly, which is what was so clearly explained by Shanahan. It wasn’t suspendible because it was a counter hit, but because it was an elbow to the face. The ELBOW TO THE FACE is what we are talking about when we say “this hit”, LA fans. Take note

  13. profsudz - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Pomi was going for the puck, wasn’t even going to hit the thug

  14. manchestermiracle - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Yeah, it was a shot to the head. Yes, it should be punished. Yes, Brown has had a few questionable hits in the past that he’s gotten away with. Pominville is coming in to play the puck and Brown takes advantage of Pominville’s lowered body position while he’s reaching for the puck in order to crush him.

    But in regards to the comments on here, I don’t think I’ve seen so many panties in a wad since Catherine de Medici invented them. There have been worse infractions this year, and there will be worse ones before the season is over, but since it’s the defending champs I guess you have to get your shots in while you can.

    • kitshky - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      All I see is a vast majority of people responding to the ridiculous “panty in a wad” comments of Lombardi … and pretty much nobody acting like this is the worst hit of the year.

      For a team that whines all the time about other teams whining … this sorta crap is pretty entertaining.

  15. Brian - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    I’m not sure invoking Forsberg’s name is going to make this seem LESS dirty.

    Forsberg was the most sneaky-dirty player in the game during his heyday. It was one of the things that made him great. You never saw it coming with Forsberg, and he always made sure the ref’s back was turn. Doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was a different game. For one thing, there weren’t cameras catching everything you do for possible suspension videos.

    Forsberg was also twice the player Brown is, and he didn’t dive nearly as much.

    • vanindeed - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      here here

    • profsudz - Apr 26, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      I gave you a thumbs up before reading the part about Flopsberg not diving. Whoops

      • Brian - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        Never said Forsberg wasn’t a diver, he just wasn’t the diver Dustin Brown is.

        And I mean that in terms of quantity. Brown will dive anytime he feels a stiff breeze. Forsberg was a bit more judicious in his diving; like I said he always knew exactly when the ref was watching so he wouldn’t dive when he wasn’t. But when he did dive it was pretty epic. You’d swear the way he was lying on the ice that he’d been killed, except you’d then see the replay and realize he’d barely been touched.

      • profsudz - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM

        Right on, I can agree with that

  16. nykingsfan1963 - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    It’s amazing how a couple of years ago nobody knew or cared about Brown or the Kings..
    but along the way something happened…they became
    and now everyone hates them.
    Get over it people. the Kings will be raising the cup again this year and you’ll all still be whining!

    Go Kings Go!!!!!

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