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Ex-referee: Prust “appropriately” called for diving on Antropov hit (w/video)

Jan 30, 2013, 5:07 PM EDT

Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser says officials got it right on Tuesday when they tagged Montreal forward Brandon Prust with a diving penalty after being hit by Winnipeg’s Nik Antropov.

First, here’s video of the incident in question:

What followed was a trio of minor penalties — Prust got two for diving, Antropov got two for boarding and David Desharnais got two for roughing.

Here are a few points Fraser made in deciding the call was correct:

— The contact/check that Antropov delivered on Prust was definitely not a check from behind (dangerous hit) and in my judgment not even worthy of a boarding minor!

Given the fact that neither referee appeared to react or raise an arm to call a penalty initially, I am left to believe that boarding and diving penalties were manufactured in hindsight after David Desharnais went after Antropov.

— Prust took a peek over his shoulder and was aware of the impending contact from Antropov. Once Prust felt the contact from behind, he utilized some ‘spring’ in his legs to generate additional velocity toward the boards. 

After contacting the boards Prust bent his upper body forward into his players’ bench.

— This contact was not of sufficient force to cause Prust to be thrown violently into the boards as the language in the rule requires for a penalty to be assessed.

Following the game, Prust was adamant he’d been hit strongly enough to warrant the response, and said it was his first-ever diving penalty.

“I can’t remember one. So it’s a first for everything,” he explained. “I got hit from behind and I fell down and apparently that’s diving nowadays.”

On that note…

Prust says he’s never been whistled for diving before, but he’s certainly been tagged for embellishment.

The following incident occurred during Game 5 of last year’s Eastern Conference finals, when Prust was with the Rangers:

New Jersey’s Peter Harrold was given two minutes for roughing on the play, while Prust was given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    You mean refs are calling diving again now? Fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a diving call.

    • stakex - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Which is sad considering most “penelties” these days are the result of outstanding performances.

      Of course the reason the NHL doesn’t want a lot of diving calls is because it looks bad for the sport, especially when some of their super starts would be the biggest offenders if diving was called correctly.

  2. blockedshotnyr - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Still think it is the dumbest thing about the call – if you’re calling diving/embellishment – you should not call the other penalty. It should be one or the other, either the penalty occurred and the referee should call it or the player dove or embellished the action and the penalty did not actually occur.

    If they really wanted to eliminate diving and embellishment, they would call just those penaltiies – at worst for diving you are even strength… Where is the harm?

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      The penalties are not mutually exclusive though. There can be times when only one is called but in this instance both were warranted

    • stakex - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      There are plenty of times where I can see a reason to call both. For example it happens a lot where someone is actually hooked and it would be a penelty… but then they try to sell it some more and do a nice dramatic flop to the ice. In those cases, its perfectly reasonable to call both.

      I do agree though that the matching calls happen too much. I actually don’t remember that last time I saw a strait diving call without a matching penelty.

  3. freneticgarfieldfan - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Brandon “fall easy like a rotten tomato” Prust would look perfect in a Canucks uniform 😉

    Did you recognize how Therrien listens carefully and respectfully to the zebra at 01:51?

  4. jasndc75 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    seemed a pretty soft hit to give 2 for boarding. the diving had to be called there. be a man. Prust falling like he was knocked out was just petty, he didnt even hit his head on anything.

    I’d rather the refs err on the side that if it looks like diving it gets called even if it might not be. Diving has the potential to seriously ruin the game

  5. sabatimus - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Montreal players never dive. Don’t know what the article is talking about.

  6. sabatimus - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    I’m surprised Subban did start clapping afterwards.

  7. ryanw822 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Montreal is gonna Montreal.

    That organization is an embarrassment to real men.

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      I’d pay to see you say that to Prust’s face.

      • rdurk86 - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        Right, because Prust would definitely haul off and slug a fan who heckled him….

      • thebadguyswon - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Of course he wouldn’t. But I’d like to see if you had the stones. Bet you don’t.

  8. stakex - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    The first point Fraser makes seems quite incorrect from watching the video. Antropov’s elbow clearly makes contact on Prust’s number on his back…. which clearly shows the hit was from behind. No doubt Prust embelissed the call, and theres debate to be had if it was hard enough to warrent a call… but the contact was from behind.

    There is also no rule that says you can’t turn your back to an opponent in an effort to draw a boarding call, so long as it isn’t a split second before the hit. So while Prust might have known it was coming… that doesn’t matter at all.

    • rdurk86 - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Don’t you think he had to know it was coming? He had the presence of mind to immediately hit the ice and lay there like he’d been shot. Oh and then he’s immediately up and yucking it up with people on the bench. Good job hiding on the bench too, don’t respond or anything, let the smallest guy on the team stand up for you. What a joker.

  9. keith8 - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Starting to notice a trend.

  10. dropthepuckeh - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    This is what happens to good, tough players when they go to Montreal. It must be something in the water that makes them turn into whiners and divers. Prust doesn’t need this in his game.

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