The story of the Phoenix Coyotes’ antics after Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals has been well-chronicled and is growing stale, but it’s certainly worth noting that ESPN.com and the Toronto Star have reported that the NHL is looking into the Coyotes’ actions and comments, with the possibility of fines and/or suspensions for some players. Immediately after the series-clinching goalie, Mike Smith attempted to slash Mike Richards, then skated toward officials with his stick in the air and later tossed his stick in the direction of officials, while Shane Doan berated the officials in a postgame interview and Keith Yandle accused referees of “playing for’’ the Kings. Dean Lombardi pointed out to the L.A. Times that the Coyotes’ on-ice antics had incited the crowd to throw trash and bottles on the ice. Dustin Brown also had harsh words directed toward him in the postgame handshake line, primarily from Doan and Martin Hanzal. Brown was asked today about his reaction to that scene and whether it impacted him at all.
BROWN: “I guess I was a bit surprised. I know it’s an emotional game and (the loss) just happened. You give them the benefit of the doubt. But I was a little surprised at the time. Did it affect me after the game? No. I play the game hard, and I thought it was a clean hit and that’s it. I’m moving on. Again, it happened so quick for them, so I like to give them the benefit of the doubt on the emotional level. It’s an emotional game out there, and stuff happens.’’
On a lighter note, it seemed fitting that while Brown spoke to the media today, a group of kids were happily, noisily, preparing to play a game in an adjacent locker room. The little kids were in one room, and the big kids were in another, probably all dreaming about the same ultimate goal. Brown and his wife, Nicole, have three children — Jake (4 years old), Mason (3) and Cooper (1) — and Brown is enjoying the ability to share this playoff run with family.
BROWN: “My two older sons, especially the oldest, Jake — probably the best way to explain it is, after we eliminated Phoenix, I said, `We beat Phoenix last night. Do you know what that means?’ He said, `Yeah, you get to play for the Cup.’ So, that was pretty cool. … The 3-year-old knows. You have to explain (to him) a little bit more. He just liked that we were playing the Phoenix Coyotes, for some reason.’’