USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Kings captain flopped to the ice late in the first period trying to draw an even-up penalty from Brenden Dillon. No one was buying.
There are only a few constants in this world - death, taxes and Dustin Brown trying to draw a call with a bit (or more) of embellishment.
Before we get into his most recent example from last night's game against the Dallas Stars, I'd like to state, for the record, Brown is far from the only player who embellishes in search of a call. Heck, I'd argue Derek Roy didn't do all he could to stay on his feet when he drew an interference minor on Drew Doughty in the third period. It happens much more often than people would like to admit.
But there is embellishing existing contact and there is flat out creating contact where nothing really exists. That's what Brown was attempting to do on Thursday as he tried to draw an even-up call against Brenden Dillon.
Brown was already heading to the box for goalie interference on Kari Lehtonen, a call the Los Angeles Kings official Twitter feed didn't care for.
Dillon shoves Brown and Lehtonen goes down like a sack of potatoes. "Goalie interference" on Brown. Stars w/ their first pp of the evening.— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 22, 2013
That Tweet made me laugh for several reasons. For one, Brown was shoved by Dillon from the side rather than from behind, which didn't affect his full-speed tear into the crease. Second, Brown never tried to apply the brakes and avoid the contact, meaning he was setting himself up for goalie interference regardless of whether Lehtonen stayed on his feet or fell to the ice. And third, Lehtonen wasn't the guy who went down like a sack of potatoes in the sequence.
Witness Brown's attempt at the single lutz below, complete with contempt dripping from the call by Razor. Stick tap to commenter TracyJean for the video.
I'm not sure this quite reaches the epic levels of the Brown self-boarding from a few years ago, but it's close. The disdain Dillon clearly has for the whole thing, the referee standing 10 feet away completely not buying it and Brown barking on the way to the box definitely up the awesome level.
On a more serious note, diving, even as blatant as this, is almost impossible for a referee to call in real time. Brown could have conceivably lost an edge to fall like that (he didn't), or there could have been a very subtle trip by Dillon that didn't rise to the level of a penalty (there wasn't). Referees are understandably very hesitant to call something with as much of a stigma as diving (and potential post-game paperwork) without 100 percent certainty. In an ideal world, you'd love to see the single diving call here, but I do understand why it just doesn't happen.
Therefore, if we want antics like Brown's out of the game, there has to be some sort of post-game video review process where the really egregious examples, like the several Brown moments linked here, can be caught and punished. Most would agree these theatrics should be eliminated from the game. Right now, there's little risk and a large potential reward for embellishment, from a mild arm lock to going down easy to the full out spin and flop. The risk for the most severe violations must be substantial to make moments like this just not worth it.
Until then, we can at least openly mock the blatant dives. Good effort, Dustin Brown. Might try harder to stick the landing next time.