Marc-Antoine Pouliot will go into the Phoenix Coyotes’ lineup tonight in place of Martin Hanzal, who will serve his one-game suspension for a hit on Dustin Brown. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett declined to disclose what his lines would be for tonight. Adrian Aucoin will also remain out of the lineup.
Dustin Brown, all limbs intact, participated in today’s morning skate and got through it without being whacked by any of the Kings’ goalies. Afterward, Brown was asked whether he thought Hanzal deserved more than a one-game suspension, and Brown also talked about the Smith slash and his bizarre diving penalty. Incidentally, in his TSN.ca column, longtime NHL referee Kerry Fraser indicated that Smith’s slash rose to the level of a major penalty and that Brown should not have been called for embellishment.
BROWN: “I thought (Hanzal) was going to get two, but it’s not an easy decision to make, especially considering we’re in the Western Finals. As a player, you don’t really worry about the length. It’s something I guess the media really likes talking about, especially considering the state of the game right now. They’ve got one of their top centers out, and we’ve got to be ready to go.’’
Question: How sore were you after that game?
BROWN: “I don’t know how to really answer that. Sore.’’
Question: Which was worse, the slash or the hit?
BROWN: “Probably the hit. The slash, my leg went numb. You’re used to getting slashed every day.’’
Question: On the hit, did you get your arms up or was it all head-first?
BROWN: “I got my arms up, so that was probably the best-possible scenario.’’
Question: How surprised were you on the slash, and then the diving call?
BROWN: “Um, quite surprised. I don’t really understand it. (The stick) came down from over his head, or up high, at least. I’m not sure. I still don’t understand, watching the clip, but most refs haven’t been slashed in the back of the leg, either.’’
Question: Well did you feel normal again?
BROWN: “Going into intermission, my foot was sleeping, still a little bit numb. When I came out for the third, I pretty much had feeling in my leg.’’
Question: Did the ref give you any explanation on that?
BROWN: “I didn’t talk to either ref after all the stuff that wasn’t going on.’’