Heading into last night’s Sharks-Kings tilt, a lot was made about how it was the first time the two teams would be meeting since Dustin Brown intentionally/not intentionally took out Sharks hotshot rookie Tomas Hertl’s knee .
Hertl has been out since undergoing surgery as a result Brown’s shady move and a timetable for his return is still uncertain.
Brown has insisted that the play was an accident, but he has an bad history of taking guys out low, so we learn toward taking the stance of “Whatever, bro.” At any rate, whether you want to believe Brown or not, it still remains that Brown has not been very apologetic about injuring Hertl, which has led many in the Sharks organization to wonder by what pack of wolves this man was raised.
So, would the Sharks try to retaliate? Would Brown’s teammates stick up for him? Would there be a glorious line brawl to start the game, a la the Flames and Canucks? Would Todd McLellan attempt to bumrush the Kings in front of their dressing room, a la John Tortorella? Hockey fans could only hope!
All eyes were on Dustin Brown Monday night at the Shark Tank.
…And not a lot happened.
Or at least nothing outside of the usual for a contest between two hated divisional rivals already with an intense and competitive history long before the Hertl incident. Brown was booed lustily every time he touched the puck, but he didn’t even log a single penalty minute.
There was one brief skirmish between Brent Burns and Colin Fraser in the first period, to which matching roughing penalties were assessed. That’s when Tommy Wingels sought vengeance for Hertl and all of those in Sharksland. From CSNBA:
Tommy Wingels offered Dustin Brown a chance to drop the gloves on Monday. Twice.
Both times, Brown declined, according to the Sharks’ forward.
“I guess he doesn’t want to own up to it,” Wingels said on Tuesday. “There’s many other opportunities, right?”
Yeah, don’t think that’s going to help improve Dustin Brown’s popularity among Sharks fans.
Anyway, Wingels is right—there is at least one more opportunity for the Sharks to get the best of Brown. They meet once more this season on April 3 in San Jose. With the new postseason format, there’s also the very real possibility these two will meet in the first round of the playoffs. That should be nothing short of amazing.