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Prust suspended two games for ‘late, violent’ Stepan hit

May 23, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT

The National Hockey League has suspended Montreal forward Brandon Prust two games for his hit on New York’s Derek Stepan during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

“Approaching laterally from the middle of the ice, Prust drives his left shoulder up and into Stepan’s chest and jaw, well after Stepan releases the puck and well after the time he is eligible to be checked,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained. “What elevates this hit to merit supplemental discipline is its extreme lateness and the significant head contact that results from the way it is delivered.”

Here’s the video:

Further explaining the suspension, the Department of Player Safety noted that Stepan did suffer an injury on the play — a broken jaw — and that Prust had been suspended once before, for elbowing Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov during the Eastern Conference Final two years ago.

Prust will now be ineligible to play in Games 4 and 5 of this series, able to return for Game 6.

Update: Interesting insight here from Fox Sports…

  1. freneticgarfieldfan - May 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    By far not enough.

    • bruinsmadness - May 23, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      Omg frenchmen are tajking all the stupid decision in this league

      • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        Is that you Donald “racist” Sterling?

      • jimeejohnson - May 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        It’s true: many Bruins fans are bitter about losing to their arch rival Montreal Canadians AND Boston has some racist losers just like everywhere.

    • no - May 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      considering seabrook got 3 as a first time offender? without a doubt

    • billsin20xx - May 24, 2014 at 7:35 AM

      and Scott and Kaleta got a combined 17 games for the same hit…garage league.

    • clarke16 - May 28, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      What a joke. 7 games for Cooke for extending his knee to make contact in finishing his check on a player with the puck and 2 games for a clearly intentional shot top the head of a player who had long since given up the puck. Only an ass-clown comes up with this…

  2. punksinplay - May 23, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    He got off easy. That he didn’t hurt Stepan more was not for lack of trying. He could have easily ended a good, young player’s career.

  3. billiam55 - May 23, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    Prust suspended for the rest of the ECF.


    • jkay1818 - May 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      exactly, he got off easy, but hopefully that’s the last of him.

  4. charlie24zz - May 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    And is this suspension still warranted when Stepan plays on Sunday? No way.

    • jkay1818 - May 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      he’s out indefinitely, which was mentioned 1000 times already on other posts .

    • avscup - May 23, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      No way? You are simply clueless. The hit was way late! Even if Stepan was not injured, it doesn’t change the carelessness of the hit.

      • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        avscup, is it a suspension if Prust’s shoulder never makes contact with Stepan’s head?

        My point being is that a late hit doesn’t warrant a suspension.

      • avscup - May 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        I thought the hit technically was good but it was so late and the kind of dangerous hit that didn’t need to be made. The office of player safety takes their job pretty seriously these days!

      • stakex - May 23, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        That point is never made enough: A dangerous/dirty hit is still dangerous/dirty even if no injury occurs on the play. As such, too much focus is given to injuries… and not enough to the hit itself.

      • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        stakex, NHL goes by the rule book. Otherwise Kreider would have been suspended for taking out Price.

      • sabatimus - May 23, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        “stakex, NHL goes by the rule book”

        No they don’t. There’s nothing in the rule book about injury being a factor in suspension length.

      • joey4id - May 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        sebatimus, rule book & CBA go hand in hand.

    • blockedshotnyr - May 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      Even if Stepan does play on Sunday, he still suffered a broken jaw.

      • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        You’re absolutely correct.

  5. dudermcrbohan - May 23, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Prust is a scrub and pretty much said he was going to take somebody out after the Price incident. Should have gotten more just for following through.

  6. avscup - May 23, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Mike, I’m confused. Was Prust fined two games or suspended two games?

    • Mike Halford - May 23, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      suspended. that’s been adjusted. apologies.

  7. bigwayne75 - May 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    What garbage, he had intent to hurt him and everyone knew he was out to hurt a Ranger from his comments after game 1

  8. 950003cups - May 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    That’s complete BS. It was a clean hit that was late.

    • avscup - May 23, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      How can it be clean if it was late?

      • 950003cups - May 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        It wasn’t to the head or knees. It’s clean. It was a fraction of a sec late.

      • avscup - May 23, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Um, no it was almost a full second. Prust had not even turned to check him while he had the puck. Sorry dude, you are way off.

      • imleftcoast - May 23, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        Someone is a victim of head shots

      • bruinsmadness - May 23, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        I hate Montreal but it was a clean hit sry Rangers fan

      • avscup - May 23, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        I want MTL so no not a Rangers fan. It was nearly a full second late. If you watch the replay, Prust does not even turn to make the hit while he has the puck. At game speed, it is a full two strides and the beginning of the third, that is really late.

    • jkay1818 - May 23, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      if it was clean and not to the head why did he undergo surgery for a broken jaw? 1000% of the time it’s due to a blow to the face.

    • bigtunany - May 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      So the broken jaw occurred sans contact? Imbecile.

    • 311sucks - May 27, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      how the hell can you defend this lmao it was blatantly late and he went out of his way to do it.

  9. mackattack29 - May 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Lol the Rags failed so hard trying to get back at the habs.

  10. titansbro - May 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    It wasn’t clean even if it wasn’t late. His shoulder almost took Stepans head off & resulted in a broken jaw. 2 games is laughable for such a dangerous play while Carcillo gets 10 for lightly pushing the refs hand away after the ref groped him. Total crap today.

  11. sixchr - May 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    I’d love to see the reaction in Montreal to a 2 game suspension when a fourth line player is sent after one of their best players to take him out when they’re ahead in a series. I’m sure it’ll be exactly the same.

    • cheetah440 - May 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      911, thousands of calls, a parliamentary inquiry. Pathetic.

  12. mzim2756 - May 23, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Yes even if Stepan comes back early the suspension is still warranted, when you hit someone that late the intent is to injure, plain and simple, and the way Prust was talking after the Price injury everyone knew he was going to do something about it

  13. oakleafm - May 23, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    But let’s get this straight – it’s a 10 game suspension for just pushing against a ref and only 2 games for breaking a guy’s jaw with an intentional late hit to the head? Something is wrong with this picture…..

    • j22j - May 23, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      Agree, but the problem is not with the 10 games Carcillo received ……

  14. ducksk - May 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Joke. Should be 5-7. Laughable.

  15. ducksk - May 23, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Joke. Should be 5-7. Laughable.

  16. ajg314 - May 23, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I believe the suspension should have been for the duration, however long, of the Eastern Conference Finals.

    • jcmeyer10 - May 23, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      They did it for Aaron Rome, they can and should have done it here.

  17. bdkite - May 23, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Players don’t respect each other, the league is a joke. There should be a defenceless player rule like NFL, and Goalies should be better protected

    • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      Agree about protecting the goalie.

      “A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.”

      “The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.”

    • flyerspsu - May 23, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      hockey by the nature of it is very physical and violent, i dont think there is too much else to do w/o taking away from what makes hockey hockey

  18. nyyrkj - May 23, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    All game the Rangers weren’t getting calls. There were two plays where the rangers should have most definitely gotten a power play. The late hit on Stepan ( which was late, anybody who ACTUALLY watched the game could tell you that. All the internet trash talkers who know nothing about anything only say otherwise. Morons) the second being too many men on the ice. I knew Carcillo would be suspended at least 10 games because 3 for even touching a ref is not enough. Prust should have been suspended for the rest of the series to make a statement that late cheap shots won’t be tolerated. I can’t believe some of you idiotic people say it was clean and Prust shouldn’t be suspended. Stupid.

    • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      Are you by chance a Rangers’ fan?

      • boisehockeyref - May 23, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        Umm, apparently it was not clean, he BROKE HIS JAW!!! What part of late and dangerous is not being understood?? lol

      • joey4id - May 23, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        never said it was clean. late doesn’t mean dirty. as written in the cba the nhl will assess supplemental discipline when an a player sustains an injury from questionable hit. lol

        guy sounds like a whining rangers’ fan
        “All game the Rangers weren’t getting calls. There were two plays where the rangers should have most definitely gotten a power play. the second being too many men on the ice. Prust should have been suspended for the rest of the series to make a statement that late cheap shots won’t be tolerated.”

      • blackhawksdynasty - May 24, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        Actually joey, according to the department of player safety a late hit IS dirty. Not necessarily saying I agree with it, but that’s what Quintal said. Would’ve been 1 game for the late hit, Prust got an extra game because of the injury…. late = dirty.

      • joey4id - May 24, 2014 at 7:10 AM

        Considering the injury sustained by Stepan, and Prust’s history, a 2 game suspension is not excessive. However, and I could be wrong, the intensity of a late hit is more a factor. Anyway! We agree on the suspension.

    • 7mantel - May 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Two games ,it could be for the rest of the series !

  19. bigblueapple - May 23, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    Absolutely love all these Bruins fans that are trying to hide behind the Rangers skirts. News flash nobody likes you. Worry about your team being Charaless from now on. Sure you had a player wearing his name and number last round, but that wasn’t Chara and we all know it, and Neely insisting it was, was totally laughable. So wait till next year for Lucic to kill the Habs, till then join your team for a round of golf or two and keep your thoughts on your own upcoming and imminent futility.

    • jimeejohnson - May 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Bahstin, chowdah, lobstah, scallups!

  20. theskinsman - May 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Habs fans are embarrassing themselves yet again defending the turds on their team. Rangers in 5.

  21. 7mantel - May 23, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    RESPECT you have to earn it !!!!

    • jimeejohnson - May 24, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      That’s why nobody respects that punk Lucic.

  22. jake1199 - May 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Why is it a suspension only 1 or 2 games? A player gets hurt supposedly and will miss more than 1 or 3 games! The punishment should be the amount of games missed but not the amount determined because it was reckless!

    Poor judgement by the refs and the NHL! This attitude will continue until the league steps up and gives longer suspensions so this won’t happen again! Stepan isn’t the victim, PRUST is! What a f$/$/))//) joke!

  23. jasminedonut - May 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    prust has a nice lisp

  24. kevindunn21 - May 23, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    I think a really great litmus test for this would be to show the two videos of the Carcillo incident and the Prust hit to a group of NFL fans (another league that is doing everything it can to manage the frequency of head shots and head injuries) who are not too familiar with hockey. Explain to them that Carcillo got suspended for 10 while Prust was only suspended for two. I guarantee you they laugh in your face. And with good reason, because the NHL once again proves that it is a joke, and inferior on so many levels in comparison to the other three major sports. And this is coming from an absolute die-hard hockey fan who has played the sport his entire life. This is truly an embarrassment.

    • avscup - May 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      I like your idea but in the NHL rule book, it is not a judgement call. It is an automatic 10 games. Every player knows they cannot battle with the refs or linesmen. Pretty cut and dried.

  25. jason9696 - May 23, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    2 games for breaking a guys jaw doesn’t seem nearly long enough. But Montreal are still upset about the Carey Price incident. So both teams are pretty pissed off at this time.

    I can’t wait for game 4.

    • cofran2004 - May 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      the difference being kreider’s situation, accidental or not is definitely debatable, and MOST people agree it was an accident. Prust tried to take stepan’s head off extremely late after all but claiming he was going head hunting for rangers. the situations aren’t really similar at all…..

  26. muckleflugga - May 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    montréal needed some fire and prust delivered … with deliberate effort while understanding potential consequences

    to what extent was need for the attack on stepan a conscious effort on the part of prust … was it guided from the bench, implicitly or otherwise … were both prust and stepan sacrificed, with purpose and with consequence be damned …

    so who’s guilty and who’s guiltier

    short of the first period in game two, montréal have not been the same team that handled bruins … in the moment, subban and canadiens appeared to be at-sea without purpose and hate fuelling their engine

    worse still, the games were fast becoming bad television

    enter prust, delivering a calculated and late goon-shot at the first clear opportunity … stepan’s post-hit rage seemingly staged after seeing a replay from above

    all good theatre and all great for television ratings to come

    prust will not lose pay and his spot on the bench is easily filled … stepan, presenting a hairline fracture of the jaw without displacement, has an injury normally involving passive treatment … stabilized and wired, stepan and his jaw will be back though he’ll not be the first in nhl playoff history to do so

    with carcillo taken down, canadiens got a bonus, losing an opponent that forces everyone he’s playing against to pay attention, especially the officials … contrary to what’s being said, rangers will hurt for carcillo’s loss

    oh danny boy, the beaches the beaches are calling

    playing while wearing a face mask, stepan’s presence will pour gas on a growing fire … forcing both teams to play with greater heart and passion and with heads-up … bringing more heat to the series but more importantly, bringing a bigger and more interested viewership

    les canadiens and the rangers and the nhl and network television, should award prust the porte d’or

    he’s made everyone significantly richer for his play

    • charlie24zz - May 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      This was a great post

  27. charlie24zz - May 23, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    “What saddens me” Alain Vigneault is that your player went in skates first into the Conn Smyth front runner.If you expected a team to sit back and take that, you’re either naive or full of s***. If the NHL did its job and protected goalies like the NFL protects QB, Prust would have let up on Stepan. It was a late hit and Prust deserves a suspension since Stepan is hurt but I don’t feel sorry for the Rangers at all. Too bad…

    • cofran2004 - May 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      you’re an idiot if you think kreider hit price on purpose. actually, i think you’re an idiot anyway.

  28. icrew29 - May 24, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    The NHL has done NOTHING to prevent this type of hit to a players head and that needs to change. They suspended a player for 10 games (rule) for touching a referee. NHL players know the penalty for touching a referee. NHL players DO NOT know the penalty for hitting someone late, in the head or whatever dirty uncalled for action they take. In my humble opinion if you go for someone’s head, late or not, the rule should be at least the same or more then touching a referee. The injury should have nothing to do with the penalty.

  29. tripps3 - May 24, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    And Seabrook got 3 games for boarding…..

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