Thursday night’s Kings-Blue Jackets game in Los Angeles had a very scary close call late in the third period, one that Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky was luckily able to walk away from. During a neutral zone battle for the puck, Dubinsky was bodied into the glass partition that separates the bench from the crowd by Kings captain Dustin Brown.
Here’s another look:
The hit resulted in a violent collision that left people in the building holding their breath, especially considering a very similar hit back in 2011 left Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty with a fractured vertebrae in his neck and a severe concussion. Luckily, Dubinsky escaped without injury and managed to stay in the game.
Because Brown has a checkered history with the league’s Department of Player Safety, many will question whether the scary hit on Dubinsky was intentional or dirty, but, in all likelihood, it was just a case of wrong place at the wrong time during a battle for the puck. It’s hard to imagine a guy intentionally riding another along the dasher with the purpose of nearly decapitating him.
Unfortunately, it just seems to be one of those plays that happens from time to time, so hopefully arenas will continue to work to make those partitions as safe as possible just in the case there’s an incident.