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Blue Jackets coach: Dustin Brown’s hit on Ryan Murray ‘a forearm to the chin’

Feb 7, 2014, 1:56 AM EDT

L.A. Kings’ captain Dustin Brown thought his high hit on Ryan Murray was clean. The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t quite see it the same way.

Brown was handed a minor penalty for charging after he caught the Blue Jackets blue liner with a hit that appeared to be to the head, as Murray was reaching forward to play the puck during the second period of Thursday’s game between the two clubs. Murray was almost completely on his knees at the point of contact.

“It’s a fine hit…At this point, I don’t know if we’re allowed to hit anymore,” said Brown, as per Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider.

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

The Blue Jackets, who came out of this game with a 2-1 overtime loss, disagree with Brown’s assertion of the play.

“The way I saw it, our player was vulnerable … primary point of contact was the head,” said Blue Jackets’ head coach Todd Richards, as per Rob Mixer. “It’s a forearm to the chin. And the player (Brown) has done it before.”

  1. areaman714 - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Yes. He has done it before . . .

    • js261oc - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      You’re right… he has knock people on the butts with CLEAN hits! This one is LEGAL and a beauty!

    • js261oc - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      You’re right… he has knocked people on the butts with CLEAN hits! This one is LEGAL and a beauty!

  2. kingsofhockey - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:24 AM

    If you want to rip into Brown, pick a dirtier hit than this one. Murray is as low as one can possibly go

  3. bwayblueshirt - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:24 AM

    Never had possession, another dirty hit from a player who has used up all the free passes his relative celebrity has to offer.

    • bwayblueshirt - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:29 AM

      I hope, anyway. With this Player Safety Department, anything is possible.

    • joey4id - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      According to the NHL rule book Murray had possession of the puck. Question is; Was it a dirty hit? The head was not targeted, but appears to be the primary point of contact. Why? Because Murray was reaching for the puck with his head down. The onus cannot be on Brown in this case to avoid the head. At a very young age hockey players are taught to keep their head up. Otherwise they put themselves in a vulnerable position.

      Possession of the Puck: The last player to touch the puck, other than the
      goalkeeper, shall be considered the player in possession. The player deemed in possession of the puck may be checked legally, provided the check is rendered immediately following his loss of possession.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        I think a number of people use the term of “head as the primary point of contact” incorrectly – at least as far as the NHL defines it. Contact to the head can be incidental even if it’s the first thing contacted in a hit so long as the player is attempting to hit squarely through the body. Primary/principle point of contact suggests that the hit wasn’t otherwise squarely through the body.

        The Brown hit is square through the body, and while Murray is pretty low to begin with he does lower his head to reach for the puck just prior to the contact. Based on the NHL rules around hits to the head, this isn’t a suspension.

        It doesn’t matter whether or not we agree on just how dirty Brown is (we can all agree he certainly plays at the edge of that fine line at least) but this particular example is still legal based on NHL rules.

  4. itswhereyourmindsat - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:44 AM

    Awesome hit. Loved it :) GKG!

  5. flyerspsu - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:11 AM

    Brown has had some dirty hits before, but this really isnt one, he committed to throw a hit legally on a suspecting player, the player just then decided to drop down to a knee to poke the puck away and as a result caught a lot of the hit up high, thats not on Brown, Murray put himself in a vulnerable position in the last possible second

    • jamesooten - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM

      Regardless of Brown’s intentions or whether it was a dirty hit. The player did infact target the head of Murray with an elbow to which he(Brown) left his skates and followed through with the contact. Murray did put himself in a more vulnerable position by dropping his body slightly before impact. However this will be a three game suspension because of intent and Murray was injured and only returned breifly after the hit.

      • paperlions - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:34 AM

        With Murray’s body position at the time of the hit and the fact that he is the one that put his head in the way….I can only assume that if a player falls to the ice and his head slides into an opposing player’s skate you’ll claim he was kicked in the head.

        The player making the hit is not the only one responsible for the result of a hit. If Murray doesn’t like the hit, then don’t put your head at the height at which good hits are made. Brown is clearly going for a shoulder to shoulder hit, he doesn’t leave his feet (what happens after the hit is 100% irrelevant), his elbow is tucked into his body, he is in perfect position to make a clean hit….then Murray goes to one knee so the hit is to his head instead of his shoulder. That isn’t Brown’s fault….and it sure as hell isn’t targeting the head. The intent was clearly to make a body hit. Really, I don’t see how you can watch that video and possibly interpret it more poorly.

        I don’t like Brown. I don’t like the Kings. But there isn’t even a penalty to call on that play.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        He didn’t leave his skates until after contact was made and he kept his elbow/arm tucked into his body. Leaving his skates only counts if it’s prior to the hit, and elbowing only counts if the elbow is extended out from the body.

  6. minnesotamirage - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Brown is a puke. He should have been suspended a dozen times the last 3 years. He is a cheap and dirty player. What a jackass. I really wish a career ending injury to you.

    • js261oc - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      Such class…your mama must be proud! Be careful what you widsh…karma is a b!tch…

  7. jpat2424 - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Tough one

  8. rgledz - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Same thing he always does…..chicken wing a guy and the head and act like nothing is wrong. Enough chances Shanny, suspend this a$$ clown and make it hurt this time. He’s a dirty player, let’s not act like he’s not.

  9. jb8588 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Brown targeted the head there…without a doubt. He saw Murray was in a vulnurable spot and had enough time to avoid contact with the head but yet he did it anyways. It’s a shame that this DB is a part of Team USA. I have no respect for guys who pulls the stunts that he does.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      I’m not a fan of Brown’s borderline plays, but that’s a stretch to say he had time to avoid the contact to the head when they’re coming straight towards each other. There’s no way he drops low enough to miss the head, with or without time to adjust.

  10. muckleflugga - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:26 AM


    we’ve covered this ground before regarding the notion of puck possession …

    possession in hockey, much as it is in football, means a receiving player must have sufficient control of puck or football to make a meaningful hockey or football play … period

    you argued that the orpik gooning of eriksson was a clean hit based on loui flailing at and missing substantive control of the puck … you quote rules literally … free of ability to associate game in the moment with spirit of the rule

    you claim you’ve played but players tend to have been exposed to in-game application of rules … by officials and by opposing players and by teammates if a foul is dirty enough … hence their ability to see the game in less black and white terms

    step inside these plays and assume each role while functioning in real-time … remember television strobes at 60 hertz and appears slower than live where the game and these incidents explode in micro moments … black and white becomes grey … blur

    unlike eriksson, murray actually had time to reach and promote the puck in a meaningful way … murray’s effort at bailing on coming contact indicates he saw brown in the instant he poked the puck forward … does that make him fair game … no

    is brown guilty of infraction according to the rule you quote … not by your interpretation

    is brown guilty of attempting to cause murray harm … you’re damn right

    rules are in place to penalize deliberate attempts to cause injury … right

    orpik and brown and every player from bantam hockey on up knows that stepping-up on a player looking down and reaching for a puck is going to hurt a vulnerable player unable to brace for impact … learned behaviour

    stepping into a guy with speed and attendant force while possessed of that knowledge is cowardly … as is any hit where a player is unable to see coming contact … lack of respect for an opponent’s health as demonstrated by orpik and brown is contemptible

    effort to rationalize behaviour of orpik and brown as fairplay or a clean hitting. is equally contemptible and is indicative of a fundamental ill in the game … not as much by players but by fans able to rationalize thuggery while hanging on a fundamentalist’s grasp of the rules … through need of self-gratification

    and i disagree with your claim players are taught to keep their heads up at a very young age … empty platitude removed from hockey in the real world … i went out to the barn this morning and had to scrape some of that nonsense from my boot

    kids from atom through tiny mite through peewee are so busy trying to master rudiments of skating and puck control, every ounce of their being is focussed on looking at and following the puck … contact is incidental and occurs at low speed and typically involves a pile-up and laughter

    there is little need to talk about hitting and keeping heads up until peewee … yet practical in-game application in peewee is rare … why … because kids are not innately violent in play

    violence is learned behaviour promoted by adults

    living their fantasies through impressionable children held prisoner in their trust

    waxing sentimental with meaningless platitude

  11. js261oc - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    To those of you that think this was a bad hit… welcome to the sport of hockey! I am always happy to welcome new fans to the sport! However, while we appreciate your enthusiasm, please wait to comment until you understand the rules and how they apply to the game. On a side note, a special welcome to the Coach Todd Richards of CBJ… welcome to the NHL! Boo hooo hooo!

    • js261oc - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

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