It was only a matter of time before the Montreal Canadiens came at the New York Rangers for retribution. Their starting goaltender Carey Price is finished for the series. Hopefully Brandon Prust is finished for the rest of his season as well and the New York Rangers can finish their series in five.
On his first shift of the game Brandon Prust came out with intent to achieve that retribution. It came at 2:48 of the first period with a high hit to the chest and face of Derek Stepan. The officials either allowed the hit or are just too incompetent to react to it. I personally think it’s the former. I’m sure if they watched the replay (they certainly watched it between periods) in their locker room, any one of them saw the missed call. If not all of them! The entire game was called wrong. Were the officials allowing the Canadiens an advantage to get back in the series? They missed too many calls for it to be coincidental.
The Montreal Canadiens wanted to set a tone in this game after loosing two in a row at the Bell Centre. That we the fans as well as the New York Ranger players knew. The Montreal Canadiens were however, outplayed for most of game three. Montreal was out shot fourteen to four in the first period and thirteen to nine in the second. The New York Rangers only led one to nothing after owning the first period. Even though Montreal seemed to control the second period. Our New York Rangers controlled the possession game in that frame as well. 2014-05-22: Canadiens 3 at Rangers 2 Game Advanced Stats | Extra Skater. For those of you unfamiliar with a term like “puck possession” the best data we have now to show who’s controlling possession is shot attempts. The theory is if you’re taking shots at the other teams goaltender then your team is “driving puck possession” and that’s the way Alain Vineault wants to the New York Rangers to win games. I suggest you take a look at the link above from ExtraSkater.com. They will explain all the team and individual advanced statistics.
Canadiens F Brandon Prust suspended 2 games for Game 3 hit on Derek Stepan. Stepan is out indefinitely w/ broken jaw. pic.twitter.com/6uNNnmAVCK
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 23, 2014
Now that we have gotten that out of the way I will move back on to game three. My point of view is that the National Hockey League Players Safety Board and the games referees failed the New York Rangers. Had a five minute major been called on the hit by Brandon Prust on Derek Stepan, the fight between Derek Dorsett and Brandon Prust never happens! Neither does the play that started that fight and got Derek Dorsett a two-minute minor for boarding. Carcillo doesn’t get ten games for spearing a referee if the referees had only raised their arm and called the proper penalty. I don’t understand how Prust only gets two games for that hit but that’s the nature of the beast I guess.
Now the latest from the Rangers Alain Vineault is that Derek Stepan has had surgery to insert a plate to stabilize his fractured jaw and is unlikely to play in game four. I’m surprised more of these incidents don’t happen in the playoffs. What a trade-off for the Montreal Canadiens, a fourth line player for the New York Rangers top centerman. The good news is that it’s not the kind of injury that’ll keep Derek Stepan out long-term. He may not be eating solid food or taking solid excrement for a while but I’m sure we’ll see him again. That hit by Brandon Prust could not have happened to a better person. Derek Stepan is a world-class player and a world-class human being. Watch and see who he is! We have all seen the hit a hundred times.
The team will be getting Derek Brassard back for game four. Jesper Fast and JT Miller were on the ice this morning taking part in practice. They will have to step up and fill some big skates in the New York Rangers line-up. The best way for the Rangers to get their retribution is to take a three games to on stranglehold on this series by winning game four. If they lose game four they will have given back to the enemy what they had taken in games one and two. Home ice advantage is big this late in the playoffs. When you have taken it away from the other team. To give it right back would be the worst thing our team could do.