New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan was seething mad in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night. He was worked up, of course, over the fact that Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust almost decapitated him.
Prust laid a late and somewhat high hit on Stepan in the opening minutes of the Habs’ eventual 3-2 overtime win, and it was a hit that Stepan did not appreciate. He was left momentarily motionless on the ice before eventually gaining his bearings. Inexplicably, no penalty was called on the hit, which had Stepan screaming at officials as he went down the tunnel to get medical attention.
Stepan, who has a history with concussions, eventually returned to the game. After the game, he reiterated his anger toward the hit from his former Rangers teammate.
“I mean, I can sit here and pick apart the hit,” Stepan said, acccording to ESPN.com. “I personally think it’s late. I think the main contact is my face.”
Stepan also said that it “doesn’t matter” whether Prust is an ex-teammate and that the hit was “a bad hit.”
Stepan was also agitate by the fact that he didn’t see Prust coming before the Canadiens forward lowered the boom.
“I never saw him,” Stepan added. “Not from the time I got the puck to the time I loved it. I even got some strides in before I got hit. I never saw him coming.”
The NHL will reportedly take a look at the hit and decide if supplemental discipline is necessary for Prust, according to ESPN.com.