Josh Brown Brings Penalty Killing Prowess to Arizona Coyotes

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Josh Brown aims to bring his strength and penalty-killing talents to the desert with the Arizona Coyotes.

Arizona Coyotes Hope Josh Brown Aids Struggling Penalty Kill

New Pastures

The 28-year-old defenseman played for both the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins this past season. However, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Brown, on July 13, inked a two-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes, a team looking to rebuild into a big, gritty, physical, and creative club. Brown loves a challenge and is excited to embark on his new adventure with Arizona.

“Sometimes it feels like a team is all over you, and then you take a penalty — and everyone in the rink thinks they’re going to score — but then some of the boys have a couple of big blocks, the goalie makes a big save, you clear it, the penalty’s over, and then you can almost feel the momentum starting to turn in your favor,” Brown said. 

“I just love that feeling. It’s a great feeling. “It hurts for a bit when you block a shot, but it’s a way better feeling if you kill it.”

Welcome Home

Brown, who has played 171 NHL games, won’t be the only hard-nosed player in the Arizona lineup. He joins Zack Kassian—acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on July 7—, Liam O’Brien, and Nick Ritchie as the Coyotes transform from a mediocre club to a lean and mean machine. 

After Brown signed his contract, Coyotes head coach André Tourigny only had one more request for his new defenseman: Show up to training camp in shape.

For the big man, it was all hands on deck.

“That was another part of why I decided to sign in Arizona, because I think I fit in well with that,” Brown said. “I like to bring that edge to a game, whether that’s some big hits, being hard to play against down low, or standing up for my teammates.”
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Penalty Killing

Now for the meat of his game — leading shorthanded armies. Brown has spent approximately 10 percent of his time on ice over his career killing penalties. In the six games he played with the Bruins last season, 18 percent of his shifts were on the penalty kill, where Arizona is among the worst in the league.

The Coyotes’ 10.2 penalty minutes per game were tied for fourth-most in the NHL last season. Paired with new assistant coach John Madden, one of the best penalty-killers in the NHL during his 14-year career, the duo could have an immediate impact. 

Albeit Madden led the San Jose Sharks to the second-best penalty kill in the NHL last season (85.20) percent), he was let go by the organization on July 1, along with head coach Bob Boughner, assistant John Maclean, and video coach Dan Darrow. 

The Coyotes capitalized by signing Madden earlier this month, and Brown is looking forward to having a significant presence in the Coyotes lineup.

“I love killing penalties — Definitely not a power play guy,” Brown laughed. “I’m going to stand up for my teammates and just be a big presence and tough to play against.

“I want to be in the lineup every single night,” Brown said. “I want to be out there killing penalties; I want to be doing all that for the team. There’s an opportunity there, but that falls on me to be prepared and ready to go come camp time.”

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