After all the calls for suspensions, fines, permanent bans, deportations, beheadings and the like, the Phoenix Coyotes revealed today that Michal Rozsival has…well, a bruise. A bruise to his thigh and knee, with no structural damage. Dustin Brown’s hit on Rozsival became the instant postgame flashpoint after Game 5, both because Brown was not penalized and because Dustin Penner scored the series-winning goal on the next shift. After the game, the Coyotes — particularly captain Shane Doan and stick-wielding goalie Mike Smith — were irate at the non-call, with Dr. Doan having diagnosed Rozsival as having a blown-out knee.
It is, without question, good news that Rozsival has no serious injury. During the handshake line, some of the Phoenix players took the opportunity to complain at, and threaten, Brown and teammates. Today, Penner was asked about the postgame scene.
PENNER: “I would chalk that up to (them) being emotional. After I scored that goal, I thought, `Yeah, that’s got to sting,’ because they were pretty fired up about that hit that Brownie laid on Rozsival. Then, on the next shift, to know that you could have potentially had a two- or four- or five-minute power play, and have a chance and that excitement of, `Our player is hurt, but we’re going to have a chance to win,’ but then there’s no call so you have that letdown. Then, on the next shift, we go out and score. It’s a recipe for what they saw.’’
Question: Were you surprised at some of the stuff that was done in the handshake line?
PENNER: “Yeah, I’ve never seen that before. I got chirped in line too, for my headlock I put on Vermette in Game 2. He wanted to rehash that. I was a little surprised.’’
Question: What did you say? Did you just keep going?
PENNER: “I was really surprised. `I don’t have time to talk, right now, about this. I’ve got a flight to catch.’’’
Question: He didn’t send you a BBM or anything?
PENNER: “We didn’t exchange PIN numbers.’’
Willie Mitchell shared similar sentiments about the emotions involved for the Coyotes…
MITCHELL: “I was in my own little moment there, enjoying the opportunity that we gave ourselves as individuals and as a team. I have a couple good friends on that team, so obviously when you shake hands with them, it’s a little different, that’s for sure. So I was kind of in my own little environment there, so I didn’t know until actually after the plane ride. I ended up finding out about the stuff that was going on. It’s different, but hey, I understand their side of it. We put so much into it, and they’re the same. They put so much into the preparation, the work, to get to that point. There’s a lot of emotion involved, and I’m sure they were emotional at the time, because their season ended. Sometimes stuff gets a little bit heated, and that’s why hockey is so great. The intensity level is at such a high level. So I was surprised by that, but also, I understand it.’’