Prust hit leaves Derek Stepan with a broken jaw; Stepan’s availability after surgery in doubt


Alain Vigneault just announced that Derek Stepan suffered a broken jaw on the open-ice hit by Brandon Prust early in the first period of Game 3 on Thursday. Stepan was scheduled to undergo surgery today, and his availability going forward was in doubt.

“Step, right now, at this time, is probably getting operated on,” Vigneault said. “He broke his jaw. We’ll have more of an idea on a time frame tomorrow.”

The loss of Stepan, the team’s top-line center, would be crucial for the Rangers, who have already played the last two games with Derick Brassard. Stepan was tied for second on the club with 11 points in 17 games this postseason.

Brassard, who scored two game-winning goals against the Penguins, was injured on a hit by Montreal’s Mike Weaver early in Game 1 and still has not returned. Vigneault said Friday that Brassard was still “day-to-day.”

After Stepan absorbed the hit from Prust, he missed about six minutes of action before returning midway through the first period. The Rangers said Stepan had X-rays while he was in the locker room and that those X-rays were negative. He continued to feel pain after the game and this morning and saw a specialist Friday morning. Those more in-depth scans revealed the broken jaw.

Vigneault said he was told Stepan was cleared to return, which is why he played after suffering the injury.

Prust was scheduled for a phone hearing today with the NHL Department of Player Safety and could face a suspension. Vigneault seemed to concede that Dan Carcillo would be hit with a lengthy suspension after he had contact with linesman Scott Driscoll during the first-period fight between Prust and Derek Dorsett.

“What saddens me about that hit is that if the call is made on the ice, we’re on a five-minute power play and what happened to Dan Carcillo – and what Dan did is inexcusable, and he’s going to pay a big price for it – but if the call is made on the ice, he’s not put in that position,” Vigneault said.

Although no penalty was called on the play, the Rangers reiterated that the Prust hit was illegal and hope the league will penalize him for it.

“Guys weren’t happy that there wasn’t a penalty on the play,” Chris Kreider said. “Obviously, it was away from the play to begin with, so not a lot of people saw it. I think the sentiment today is the same as it was yesterday: It wasn’t a clean hit and hopefully the league deals with it thusly.”

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  1. Habs fans think Prust’s hit was clean, but Kreider should have been suspended.

  2. Any word on how long Gorges is getting suspended for? On the Rangers first goal he CLEARLY slid right into the Habs goalie w/o stopping…

  3. No respect at all for Prust…that hit was WAY late and he was aiming high all the way. Limited hockey skills and obviously no sense of respect for other players.

    Good riddance to him.

    As for the refs, it was apparent early on that the refs were going to give the Habs EVERY SINGLE CHANCE to win last night. If it’s not blatant favoritism, it’s abhorrent incompetence. Take your pick.

    P.K. “Slew Foot” Subban showed his true colors as well. Reminds me of Crosby and Malkin. Funny how all these “star” players get away with dirty plays.

    Rangers need to find something that they haven’t shown in years – A KILLER INSTINCT. They need to go for the throat Sunday night. The Habs “D” looks terrified by the Rangers speed. Rangers need to drive straight to the net and pepper Montreal left and right. No let up.

    What an absolute joke NHL officiating has become.

    Although…Carp, is there a chance the Rangers are milking this to get a suspension for Prust?

    Anybody wanna bet we get the same two moron refs for Game 4??

  4. On another note; there is literally no justice in a pair of suspensions for Prust and Carcillo whereby Carcillo gets more games for trying to break free from (IMO) an overbearing ref…and Prust who, let’s be honest (and I loved him as a Ranger) knew EXACTLY what he was doing and knew it’d lead to an injury…

    Taken in totality, and given his quotes on Kreider’s hit and his 10min miscondcut – his hit on Stepan is (IMO)premeditated..

    I’m not going to cry in my pouteen about this…but let’s step up (no pun intended) and beat the living cr*p out of this team…

  5. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Hanging out in this post is so much better than watching Doodie attempt to take over the Charp!

  6. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Carcillo should have gotten 20. You simply cannot do what he did. It’s inexcusable. No matter what the situation.

    The linesman is doing his job of preventing Carcillo from jumping into the fracas. That’s what he is SUPPOSED to do. He can use force if he has to.

  7. ThisYearsModel on

    Too bad the Rangers don’t have anyone that could exact revenge on the Habs. The little Hab centers should be spitting chicklets on Sunday. Won’t happen though.

  8. The ref was too aggressive with Carcillo. Not defending Carcillo.

    Then you have a situation like Emery pounding a guy who doesn’t want to fight, and the ref is just watching it happen.

    Or when Neil takes a guy down and continues punching him while the refs watch.

  9. Manny; i’m going to STRONGLY disagree with your supposition on what the ref is supposed to do there or, more accurately, what he was doing.

    Carcillo is standing there and making sure none of the other Canadiens take the chance to fight one of the other Rangers on the ice (i.e. that’s “his” job).

    The ref, instead, with this back to the action going on- decides to go straight to Carcillo (ok, that’s probably playing the smart odds).

    But, Carcillo got angry because (and you can see him saying this) he’s saying to let him go and let him monitor what’s going on…in the legal system it’d be calling Carcillo guilty before being proven innocent and, therefore, why is it that the ref can make physical contact with him / restrain him?

    I’ll stop at that point and say- ok, yes you can’t nudge the ref- but i’d back up and say; why’d it happen? And for that, I’d say the ref was trying to do the right thing but was overbearing…

  10. if Prust isn’t at least suspended for the rest of this series than I am done with watching hockey at least for this year. I know Carp states there isn’t a conspiracy against the rangers but after watching last nights game you can’t fool me. First prust predatorily goes after stepan, the same guy (prust) who was very vocal with the kreider incident, than mind blowing with 2 refs watching doesn’t even call a penalty. Than carcillo barely hits prust but that’s a penalty, really? Than, carcillo not engaged with anyone gets attacked by the lines man and because of the situation carcillo punches or pushes the linesmen’s shoulder. The way that whole scenario was handle was like the refs and linemen worked or was paid by the Canadians. It was a complete screw job on the rangers and I’m not saying this because I’m a ranger fan, anybody who has half a brain and eyes can see that and if they don’t than there wearing blinders.

  11. I don’t think you are gonna hurt a guy like PK Subban….The guy is built like a NFL running back……But if the Rangers took MaxPac out of the equation with an injury….then I think it would level the playing field with Stepan out potentially.

  12. tommyG – when the national announcers are agreeing with largely what you said…it does make you wonder…

  13. *manny, I love and respect you but*…..

    if you don’t don’t stop complaining about what Carcillo did, boneheads may start to wonder, are you either 1) a frustrated wanna-be NHL linesman or 2) a closet Canadian fan.

    Put it to bed. who cares?

    *Stepan was in-fact assaulted and has a broken jaw as a result*. what Carcillo did or didn’t do, small potatoes. we know what he is and what he was.

    who cares?

  14. Stranger Nation on

    sooo…two late high hits on NYR centermen…neither called a penalty…both players out of series. Good thing the league wants to get rid of the dirty stuff.

  15. Stranger Nation on

    Papa – agree on your 1:55.
    Some are bigger ref apologists then Penis-head Pierre

  16. And BTW, who’s to say that linesman isn’t the “Carcillo” (or worse) of Linesman?

    I personally feel that Mr. Linesman, in a position of authority that has been trusted and granted to him by the NHL, should have exercised more professionalism and integrity while exercising said authority.

  17. ThisYearsModel on

    Actually, I bet the Habs coach and players were well aware Prust was targeting Step. With all the talk befor the game about Kreider, how could the refs not make a call there?

  18. Lloyd Braun on

    They’d better suspend that 4th line bum for breaking Stepan’s jaw with what everybody in the building could see was a filthy head shot.

    And to any of you so-called Ranger fans who are still singing Brandon Prust’s praises, please find another team. I’m sure your hero John Tortorella will land somewhere else.

  19. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    This one is awesome *Papa*

    1) a frustrated wanna-be NHL linesman

    What if I was?

  20. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Prust is currently tweeting with Del Zotto. FOR FUN

  21. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Glen Sather screwed once again…

    @SNHockeyCentral GM of the Year candidates: Marc Bergevin of the Canadiens, Dean Lombardi of the Kings and Bob Murray of the Ducks.

  22. Carcillo needs therapy. To be fair he may have been channeling the aggression of all the Rangers fans, players, and coaches when he took a swipe at the linesman. Bad officiating is influencing games on both coasts.

  23. “TrueBlue

    Any word on how long Gorges is getting suspended for? On the Rangers first goal he CLEARLY slid right into the Habs goalie w/o stopping…”

    TrueBlue, can I steal that to post over at TSN boards? Those Habs fans are insane.

  24. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Also, I don’t think Prust is playing 100% and the Habs have White who can step right in. It’s not that big of a loss.

  25. Lloyd Braun on

    Breaking news: Brandon Prust, greatest player in the history of the sport, not that big of a loss.

  26. Diane; be my guest…i’m too busy at work to check whatever the crazys over there must be saying…

    but seriously Gorges has been all over the goalie..screening him / sliding in to him…he needs to be more careful!

  27. Tokarski gaining confidence step and brassard two centers in top 6 injured and the up hill battle begins,

    More pressure on rangers leading 2-1 Sunday then Habs. People like manny and I panicing now just wait to Sunday night if 2-2. The list will

  28. I hate to engage in this type of wussiness…

    but, why doesn’t Gallagher get anything extra for continuing to mouth off to the refs and swatting away the linesman’s hand at the end of the 2nd…

    Consistency is a virtue, I guess, lost on officials…

  29. its a much bigger loss if the Canadiens were required to dress 19 skaters instead of the normal 20 during the length of Prust’s suspension.

    I’ve been calling for this for 2 years. When you suspend a player, hurt the suspended player’s team as well. Make them dress 1 less player for the duration of the suspension. Habs would dress only 19 skaters instead of 20.

    it makes sense to me.

  30. Stranger Nation on

    Thought nash was engaged last night and had some looks, including a great pass to MSL, but he seems to be a reg season speed and everyone else is at PO speed. Holds on to puck too long like he still is the one man show in Lumbus. Needs to move his feet and the puck much quicker and better results with follow.

  31. Lloyd Braun on

    Olzcyk is on the radio with Fatso and actually said that just because Derek Stepan has a glass jaw it shouldn’t influence a suspension for the hit (which he still thinks is just interference). Also said that despite the injury not mattering he thinks Prust will probably get between 3 and 5 games.

  32. its a much bigger loss if the Canadiens were required to dress 19 skaters instead of the normal 20 during the length of Prust’s suspension.

    I’ve been calling for this for 2 years. When you suspend a player, hurt the suspended player’s team as well. Make them dress 1 less player for the duration of the suspension. Habs would dress only 19 skaters instead of 20.

    it makes sense to me.

  33. I think the refs should be suspsended as well. Inexcusable to miss a cheap shot that broke someone’s jaw. There are FOUR officials on the ice.

    I think the NHL needs to look at this. The NHL office should be allowed to call down and make the call if the refs don’t see it (not that they would have anyway…but just sayin’)

  34. Olcyzk is totally right….

    Except for it was still a late hit and the main point of contact was Step’s head…

    So, in conclusion, Olcyzk should spend a little less time picking horses on air and make some darn sense.

  35. So far Montreal with a help of their nightmarish, little stripped friends, successfully eliminated our 2 best centers and only capable team sheriff. Good price for Price?

  36. Matty"WhyNot!!!"Boy on

    It is beyone upsetting that Prust would do that to Step, a guy he knows is a pacifist. It extends to much worse that the ref’s didn’t see it. So often if a player is down they find out how it happened and penalize anyway.

    The odds are Prust, A REPEAT OFFENDER, WHO INJURED A PLAYER, will get a wrist slap, if anything.

    It is difficult to be a fan of the NHL right now.

  37. Czechthemout!!! on

    Where are all the Prust fans now? He was a piece of trash when we saved his career from Calgary. And he is still the same cheap dirty piece of Prust now.

    Prust him!

  38. Lloyd Braun on

    Montreal players were also praising the hit. I guess this is the kind of thing you folks who used to sing Prust’s praises on a nightly bet were on about: doesn’t matter how despicable the action is if the guy who did it is on your team.

    And then we have Therien who looks and sounds like a bag man, justifying the Prust hit because of what happened to Price. Utterly class organization. Brandon Prust is a perfect fit.

  39. That’s a dirty cheap shot by Prust. Hes nothing but a loser. Canadiens will never win anything

  40. I’m holding onto threads right now to continue being a nhl fan. Like I said earlier, if prust isn’t suspended for the rest of this series I’m done watching hockey for at least this year, done. Those idiots in stripes last night should never ref another nhl playoff game this year and that includes the idiot linesman who for some reason attacks carcillo when he was not engaged with a Habs player.

  41. Lloyd…. if its true that Therien is justifying Prust’s “despicable” hit by what happened to Price, he should be suspended for twice the time that Prust gets.

  42. The NHL should get the refs from Slapshot and Youngblood to do the rest of the games. They couldn’t be any worse.

  43. Prust: “it’s the NHL, we all know how to deliver late blindside hits that wont get called”

  44. Lloyd Braun on

    Part of me feels pretty strongly that Prust gets a slap on the wrist and ends up sitting fewer games than Carcillo

  45. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Sad times, Sally, Sad times.


  46. I saw Carcillo riding the subway home after the game last night. He didn’t look too happy. Not sure if it was because of the game misconduct, because of the loss, or maybe because of what the coaches had to say to him. Maybe all three. But whatever the reason, he sure didn’t look like a happy man.

    When he got off the train, another guy said to him “It’s ok, you’ll get ’em next time.” Carcillo didn’t say anything, but might have nodded.

  47. Manny-O-War, King of Emotional Collapse on

    Carcillo takes the train? Is he not allowed to be in cars because of his twitter handle?

  48. Not sure if folks here are saying Therien is saying Prust had a clean hit or if he actually said it

    (wisely or not I use this blog as about 99% of my information).

    But, if that is so, how does a populace like Montreal rectify that type of thinking with literally pressing charges on Chara…

    It’s a slippery slope from a legal perspective; but when a coach seems to justify it after the fact based on a prior injury- doesn’t that imply a level of premeditation.

    And, in a remotely sane world the the NHL Circus of Justice certainly doesn’t operate in, wouldn’t that be grounds for fining a coach?

  49. How often do you see a linesman tie up a player like that, especially in an aggressive fashion? You generally do not. With the emotions running wild at that point, you kinda understand why Carcillo responded that way, even knowing how nutso he is. Not defending him, but I’m sure other players in the same situation would have gotten ticked off at the official.

  50. TrueBlue, he called it a “hockey hit”, and that “Prust’s intention was not to hurt Stepan”.

  51. Come out Sunday and steamroll them! The only just revenge.

    Yes, Montreal is not a slouch team but the first three games are enough to show me that the Rangers are much better. It would be a crime to lose this series.

  52. I don’t know if anyone’s talked about this, but I was listening to Bob McKenzie on some radio show earlier today, and he said that “abuse of officials” penalties (length of suspension, severity) are decided by the officials themselves.

    They look at the replay and talk about it and then decide what the punishment is.

    Isn’t there some conflict of interest going on there?

  53. The rulebook, as I understand it, has three variations of the abuse of officials rule. The officials decide which one occurred. Then the league hands down the suspension which applies to that incident. Obviously the league can and surely does review the incident first, though and can probably determine otherwise.

  54. You’re freaking kidding me gravy… a hockey hit?

    And Kreider who gets tripped at 100mph is reckless.

    Anyone know where this ding bat is staying in NYC? It’d be unfortunate if about 20 people showed him an unintentional “hockey hit”…

  55. Ah, ok, that makes more sense. I must have misunderstood – he probably was referring to the fact that they decide which abuse happened.

  56. They do, and each one carries a different suspension. But I think it’s up for discussion.

    that said, Carcillo will and should be suspended.

  57. Even if Kreider’s play was “accidentally on purpose”, the two are not even comparable, like some Canadiens fans are making them out to be. A hit to the head of an unsuspecting player is far more likely to cause an injury.

  58. Another good comment I’ve seen is that how do they know that Stepan broke his jaw on the check and not the fall to the ice (as if he would have fallen without being checked).

  59. Correct Gravy…but neither one of which is not NEARLY as serious as NUDGING a referee….let’s get our priorities in order here….

  60. ThisYearsModel on

    Did Therrien really say “I don’t get any respect, I get no respect at all” in the presser today? I think he knew and approved of what Prust did. Oh, and Davis Deharrnais has graciously volunteered to be the next recipient of a cheap hit after running his mouth.

  61. Carcillo should be punished perhaps
    for not going directly yo the penalty box.
    That ( not going directly yo the PB)

  62. The officials should be protected. If only they protected the players as well.

  63. some of the jackasses up North are saying Stepan broke his jaw on a hit later he initiated later in the game. Asshats.

  64. Lloyd Braun on

    I have no problem with Carcillo sitting for a couple of games. Prust should be done for the rest of the playoffs and part of next season.

  65. the mamby-pamby Player Safety Department won’t have the onions to go that far. I’d be surprised if he gets more than three. Wouldn’t be shocked if it’s even less.

  66. Gravy,

    Stepan didn’t just fall to the ice, he crash landed. Another reason why it was easy to tell he was hit in the head and not just the chest.

    You get hit the chest, you usually don’t go completely airborne and crash land like Stepan did.

  67. I’ll say this about the Carcillo thing

    Refs are like cops and it doesn’t matter if they “manhandle” a player, the player has to accept that in the moment. I can’t recall ever seeing a player get physical with a ref like that.

    Carcillo is a LOSS here. He was FLYING early in the game, another speedy threat.

    I wonder if there’s any opportunity after Carcillo is ejected to talk to the refs and make an apology, etc. He’s been so well behaved here and a real contributor…really really sucks.

    I really hope Prust doesn’t get his way and change this whole series…are the Rangers going to be able to put this all behind them?

  68. Lloyd Braun on

    The problem with not handing Prust a lengthy suspension is that they would in effect be endorsing players taking whatever dirty, cheap-shot opportunity they’d like in the name of getting their team going. I can totally see them letting Prust completely off the hook but I hope they get what a dangerous precedent it will set.

  69. I feel like the Rangers have been good about going about their business and putting these types of things behind them.

    But the bigger question is how will they replace Stepan in the lineup if he’s out for an extended period – faceoffs, power play, penalty kill, centering Nash/Kreider.

    Even if they just move on, that’s a major hole to fill.

  70. That precedent has been set by the NHL, from Lucic (on Nash) and Neil (on Boyle) and Shea WWEber and so many other infamous and unpunished head shots.

  71. grammar was horrible there…but you get the point…I’m mad as hell about this and want to see a real response…

    If they’re resorting to this- this means they know they’re beat straight up…so let’s not get pushed around; shove it right back at them and then move on to being the better team…

  72. I was sitting in my chair about 15 minutes before the start of game 3 enjoying the moment and thinking to myself, this has the chance to be a really special holiday weekend.

    12 hours later, it certainly hasn’t started off like one.

    This is war.

    Prust is the enemy.

    Death to Prust.

  73. Carp; anyone have the stones on the Rangers to try something like that next game (and someone who might be expendable for a few games)?

    This Prust business is just purely intentional- which makes it even more sickening…

  74. Lloyd Braun on

    The Canadiens are a soft team, including Subban who is a fraud. The cheap shot on Stepan was about trying to upset one level of domination the Rangers had enjoyed in the first two games. It becomes a bigger problem because they’ve lost a top player and in exchange Montreal (maybe) loses a 4th-line bum. Montreal will make that trade 10 out of 10 times. But if the Rangers actually sack up and do so smartly, they’ll brutalize Montreal all over the ice.

  75. i know- but i followed you down the path of just miserable grammar that was lost in the “heat” of the moment…

  76. Carp,,,,,

    Prust is a repeat playoff offender.

    He’ll get the rest of the series.

    And it still isn’t enough.

  77. _anyone have the stones on the Rangers to try something like that next game (and someone who might be expendable for a few games)_

    It was Carcillo.

  78. Not sure about that, Papa. Phone hearing even though the NHL knew of the injury? doesn’t sound like a long suspension to me. I hope you’re right.

  79. I have zero idea about what the Wolfpack is up to / cap implications; but can we call up some combination of:


    They want to play goon hockey- guess what we’ll have one line just waiting for you…and we’ve got last change Therrien; let’s see how unintentional things can get….

  80. I meant it like “you can’t be serious” that is what he said…(not that you were wrong etc. etc.)

  81. F re Carcillo; and he was playing well…if he knew he was going to get 10 he would’ve gotten his money’s worth…

  82. Sally! Bravo. Didn’t think Prusto had within him that evil gene, especially with a pacifist (as someone said) like Steps.

  83. Officials are great at protecting themselves with 10 game suspensions, less so protecting pacifists like Stepan and paying attention, 4 of them!

  84. gotta believe on

    malicious intent to injure… Now brassard has to come back,,,and we rally around this…be relentless Sunday…let’s do this rangers

  85. I just watch a video of the hit. One of the refs was behind the play and was looking at Prust as he hit Stepan. No way he didn’t see it.

  86. I see quintal a former player for the Montreal scum is continuing the nil player safety farce

  87. -GREENBURGH – Brian Boyle joined the Los Angeles Kings in 2007, right around the time they imported Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty and other core players who have since turned the franchise into perennial Stanley Cup contenders. When asked now if he thought they were building something great back then, Boyle scoffed.-

    -Back then, he never thought that far ahead.-

    -“I was stupid. I didn’t know anything,” he said. “I was just trying to make it.”-

    GREENBURGH – Darrol Powe joined the Philadelphia Flyers in 2008, right around the time they imported Claude Giroux, Antero Niittymaki and other core players who have since turned the franchise into perennial non-Stanley Cup contenders. When asked now if he thought they were building something “good” back then, Powe scoffed.

    -Back then, he never thought that far ahead.-

    -“I was stupid” he said.


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