After two rather tame and dull meetings to start the series between the Rangers and the Canadiens, Game 3 saw quite the opposite in terms of fireworks. Two suspensions and a broken jaw later, we finally have a fire lit underneath the Eastern Conference Final.
|Rangers forward Derek Stepan stays down after taking a brutal hit from Brandon Prust in Game 3 (via ESPN.com)|
Montreal forward Brandon Prust was suspended two games for checking Rangers forward Derek Stepan in the first period of Thursday night's game. Somehow, the referees on the ice did not see the hit, allowing Prust to skate away free without a penalty. He did however have to drop the gloves with Derek Dorsett later on.
You can watch the video from the Department of Player Safety here:
How is that hit only two games? Prust broke Stepan's jaw with the contact, leaving him out indefinitely after undergoing surgery Friday. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had a pretty good zinger directed at Prust about the reckless hit, as it was Prust who accused Ranger forward Chris Kreider of charging Montreal goalie Carey Price "accidentally on purpose" in Game 1. Vigneault said:
Yesterday there was an incident where Prust hit Stepan...Same player that called [Kreider's] hit on [Habs goaltender Carey Price] an 'accidental but on-purpose' late hit, everything you want to get out of the game, that was his hit on Stepan.
Any player who delibiertly applies physical force to an official in any manner, which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits an official, shall be automatically suspended for no less than 10 games
Carcillo totally deserves the 10 game suspension, as you cannot make contact with an official, plain and simple. Especailly with his reputation, he wasn't going to get any benefit of the doubt from the league on this one.
The only funny part here is that a player can land a dirty, late hit that breaks someone's jaw and only get suspended for two games, while another can give a shove to an official's forearm and he's banned for 10. Call me crazy but that seems just a bit out of whack.