And to the dismay of some, no retribution.
It was a cheap shot no doubt; one that that will make Brown sit for LA's final two games, including one against Detroit tonight that has massive implications for your Minnesota Wild. Pominville, as of today, is "day to day with an upper body injury" (put a dollar in the jar if you've heard that one before) and his status for the rest of the regular season, and potentially the playoffs, is murky at best. At the time the incident took place, Minnesota had a 2-0 lead in a game they HAD TO WIN.
Hockey has fighting intertwined into its fabric; while it is used for a pressure valve to some degree, it had served as a form of checks and balances as well; you offend, you pay penance. You hit my star, I hit you. You injure a teammate, you're going to have to answer the bell. Its "the code." A gentleman's agreement if you will; you take your medicine.
In a weird way, players are defined by their willingness to stand up for their teammates, and make opponents atone; look at the way Mark Messier and Brendan Shanahan are revered for the "leadership qualities" they have; hell, I remember Shanahan dropping the gloves with Donald Brashear a few years ago quite vividly.
Should someone have stepped to Brown and challenged him? Sure, in that romantic old school hockey way; but in a world of instigators penalties, you simply cannot just do that anymore- especially given the circumstance of being on a skid and having to have the two points which come with a victory. It simply wasn't the time or the place, which is unfortunate because as fans we want to see an egregious wrong righted; but the hard fought victory which all but assured a playoff spot despite losing a key cog could have been another lead that got away because LA scored on an ensuing power play after a fight and instigator penalty.
There's no excuse for a missed call like that- who knows what could have transpired on a potential power play- but the bottom line is Minnesota got the two points they desperately needed, and Dustin Brown got suspended and fined for his actions.
Is it as satisfying as watching Brown get pummeled? No. But it will have to do.