Rangers Payback To Prust: Win Next 2 and Send Him Home

Stepan down after illegal Prust hit (Getty)

Stepan down after illegal Prust hit (Getty)

The NHL Department of Player Safety has failed again. After reviewing the late hit by Brandon Prust that broke Derek Stepan’s jaw, they felt it was only worthy of a two game suspension.

Rumors within the inner circles of the NHL is that they were only going to suspend Prust for 1 game. The Rangers hearing that rushed the news of Stepan’s fractured jaw to the league for their consideration. The decision was one more game for breaking a guy’s jaw.

An absolute joke no matter how you look at it. The NHL dropped the ball because they didn’t even consider the premeditation involved. Prust was steaming after game 1, saying Kreider had “accidentally on purpose” taken out goaltender Carey Price. Even Habs’ coach, Michel Therrein advanced the narrative to his team, saying it was a “reckless play”. After the incident Canadiens David Desharnais said, “It set the tone for the night. They may not have liked it, but it definitely woke everyone up.”

Since the third period of game 1, the Candiens have been looking for some form of retribution. They couldn’t get in on the scoreboard in game 2 and were well on their way to another loss in game 3. That’s when Prust made a decision to do something, anything to turn his team around. He did that in the form of well thought out and executed hit to the head of Derek Stepan.

Prust's late hit (ctsy @myregularface)

Prust’s late hit (ctsy @myregularface)

The ineptitude of the NHL to protecting players reached new heights when they said the initial point of contact wasn’t the players head but chest and jaw. Are we serious? Prust clearly sees Stepan looking the other way and lines him up. Have you ever hit someone in hockey or football? I have, and you literally put your head down and aim for the middle. Not in this case, Prust is watching and aligning his shoulder to hit chest and chin in order to jar the head. The NHL’s reasoning simply makes no sense.

Rumblings out of the Rangers organization is Stepan will play with his jaw wired shut and a special helmet. You can be sure the Canadiens will target him even more. Will the referees do anything about it? Or is PK Subban to offensively talented that it’s ok to ignore his slew foots and slashes?

It’s time for the Rangers to forget the refs and dish up the ultimate payback. Win the next two games, close the Canadiens out in Montreal and make Brandon Prust come out in street clothes if he decides to shake the winners’ hands.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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