Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust has a phone hearing with the NHL before on Friday for this non-penalized hit on Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers in Thursday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
I’ll respectfully disagree with my colleague Harrison Mooney that it was a headshot.
The principal point of contact was the chest, and then there was contact with the head. It’s not a Rule 48 suspension debate. It was a full body check.
What it is: Late.
Very late. And Prust doesn’t commit to the hit until Stepan doesn’t have the puck any longer.
Now where have we seen this before ….
Prust won’t get an Aaron Rome suspension for this – four games, thanks to the stretcher multiplier and the politics behind the punishment – but this is a dangerous bit of interference and a rather transparent attempt by Prust to lay out a guy with an illegal hit.
He’ll get something for it, even if Stepan returned to the game.
Hopefully the NHL can also find time to hold a hearing with the on-ice officials that somehow missed this hit, leading to the Dan Carcillo malarkey later in the period.
(By the way, expect a suspension for the Carcillo ref bump as well. Keep in mind Hockey Operations, led by Colin Campbell, handle that rather than Player Safety.)