First, Brandon Prust had his hearing with Brendan Shanahan via phone today, said he was able to argue his case for his elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov, and then went out to join an optional skate, not knowing if he would be suspended.
Some gamesmanship going on, too, as John Tortorella first accused Volchenkov of staying down trying to draw a penalty, suggested that maybe his team should do that, said his players have been instructed to get up if they’re not really injured (and indeed, Brian Boyle, for example, skated off after his concussion; and came back to play another shift). Tortorella also brought up some hits by the Devils that were up high, and added that the Devils set illegal picks on faceoff plays, especially on the power play, to get Ilya Kovalchuk open shots.
Tortorella and his players all defended Prust as an honest player who has never been suspended, and who doesn’t have a single elbowing penalty this year, and all were annoyed at Peter DeBoer’s accusing Prust of being a head hunter.
Also, Stu Bickel very probably will be the fourth-line right winger if Prust is suspended.