When it comes to any sport, not just hockey, talking smack is all just part of the game. However, there is a certain code, sort of a “Bro Code” amongst men that you just don’t cross. I think it is safe to say that Montreal Canadiens left wing Brandon Prust broke that “Bro Code” on Saturday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In the closing moments of the second period, during a television timeout of all things, Ben Bishop skated out of the net and over to the boards, as goaltenders tend to do during the TV timeouts. Every other player on both teams had made their way to their respective benches, all but one…Brandon Prust.
This is when Prust finds it pertinent to walk over the Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop and begin taunting him. At the time, it was not known what it was that was said to Bishop, but whatever it was, Bishop didn’t like it. When Bishop attempted to confront Prust, who had been instigating Lightning players all afternoon, Prust took his stick and speared him in a place that no man should ever hit another man.
This set the Lightning goaltender off, and Bishop introduced Prust to his glove in quick form. It took two referees to break the two players apart when all was said and done.
In case you missed it, here is a look at the altercation between the two sides.
It is what happened next that has me perplexed. Here are the penalties that were assessed on the play.
What you don’t see in the video is the skirmish that happened between Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas and Canadiens right wing George Parros after the incident. They were both assessed 10 minute misconducts for their actions. However, this is where things start to get sketchy.
Both Bishop and Price were given two minute penalties for “Leaving the Crease.” Maybe I am incorrect, but the last time that I checked, this is a permitted action during TV timeouts; one that is done by just about every goaltender in the NHL.
Then, things get even sketchier. Prust is only assessed a two minute penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. If you want to get technical about it, I see Instigating (as he had no business being near Bishop at that point anyway,) Roughing, Fighting (possibly to both as they both threw punches), Cross-Checking, as Prust clearly cross-checked Bishop in the chest, and I could keep going, but I think I have clearly illustrated my point already.
I am kind of shocked that Prust wasn’t ejected from the game, but I guess this is why I am not a referee in the National Hockey League.
Do you think that Prust stepped out of line? Did he break “The Bro Code?” Do you think the referees made the right call with the penalties that were assessed? Let us know what you think in the comments below.